Founded in 2001 to meet a growing need for digital financial services, Skrill (formerly known as Moneybookers) is one of the world’s most popular online payment services, processing over 150 million transactions each year. Skrill has established itself as a particular favourite payment service of the iGaming industry, with many casino and betting brands offering its services to their players and punters worldwide. However, the question has recently been raised as to whether Skrill is using this power in a responsible way that does not impact negatively on its users.
On entering the Skrill homepage, visitors are privy to an Exclusive Offers tab, which features various exclusive offers from online casino, bingo, poker and sports betting operators. Also featured are numerous binary trading and Forex trading providers. While there is seemingly nothing wrong with iGaming affiliate marketing to generate extra profit, the fact that Skrill – a payment service provider – has adopted this business model is raising some moral questions.
Skrill has access and power over millions of people’s money, and the advertisement of gambling options seems to be suggesting gambling as a favourable way in which to spend it. Encouraging its users to spend their funds on activities that may either multiply them or drain them completely thus seems like an inappropriate use of power for the firm. Skrill has also recently extended its iGaming and trading options affiliate role through email marketing – one of the most effective forms of advertising available. Many are questioning whether it is appropriate for a financial establishment to use its customers’ data to promote trading and gambling, especially as users may not be made aware of the risks that these activities carry.
Skrill has also come under fire for promoting a gambling operator that is well known for using pirated gambling software. Burnbet has been listed as a rogue casino by numerous gambling experts, including Casinomeister and Latest Casino Bonuses (LCB), for operating with unauthentic software and enticing players to spend money on fake slots. Despite Burnbet continuing to use pirated software, Skrill has continued to feature the casino as one of its top suggestions. The team at LCB has even approached Burnbet’s operators on this issue, only to be concerningly met with death threats. The question players and industry members are now raising is why Skrill, an established payment service brand, would associate itself with a rogue casino. While the iGaming community is scrupulous in seeking high standards for safety and authenticity, Skrill seems blithely unaware of this unspoken rule – or has perhaps favoured extra revenue over the safety of its users.