TRANSACTION TRENDS EXCLUSIVE CE SERIES: Risky Business
Exploring the current and future market potential of the gaming and cannabis verticals
By Michael Coleman
Gambling and legal cannabis sales—two of the fastest growing but most controversial business sectors in the United States—are evolving to confront ongoing challenges in processing payments. Federal court decisions and new state-level legislative initiatives have brightened the electronic payment horizon for online gambling and sports betting, but cannabis remains a mostly cash-only business deprived of legitimacy and legality by the federal government.
Heather Altepeter, ETA CPP, CEO of National Merchants Association (NMA), works on behalf of both online and brick-and-mortar merchants of all kinds and also specializes in high-risk merchant acquiring. Although NMA doesn’t have an official position on the gaming or cannabis markets, Altepeter says the opportunities for business growth in both are robust. But she also cautions anyone exchanging money in either sector to follow the letter of the law or risk possible legal disaster.
“Make sure you’re doing it legitimately,” she says, adding that merchants and processors should ensure they are not skirting regulations or laws governing the industries. “Do it the right way even if it’s the hard way.”