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Paysafe Group PLC
we were focused on online processing of trans-
actions, ultimately looking to help companies
that were selling goods and services online to
facilitate the payments and to help manage fraud
and risk,” says Leonoff.
In the late 1990s ecommerce was very much
in its infancy and had yet to take hold to any
significant degree, other than the adult industry
and online gambling. The company decided to
focus on the online gaming industry at that time.
By 2003, an enterprise that was public on the
NASDAQ called the Optimal Group purchased
the company and renamed it Optimal Payments.
Leonoff decided to leave to pursue other oppor-
tunities. Soon thereafter the online gaming
industry became considerably more complicated
due to the implementation of strict new U.S. laws
taking effect as of 2006.
“In 2006 I helped some friends who had
started an online poker site out of Gibraltar called
Party Gaming and the product was called Party
Poker. They took it public on the London Stock
Exchange with a $10 billion valuation. I spent a
year there as the COO helping them to manage
the operations,” says Leonoff.
By 2007, onerously strict rules and regula-
tions made it illegal to process payments for
U.S. residents in the online gaming sector so
the Optimal Group ultimately looked to exit the
payments space.
Joel Leonoff, President and CEO
Danny Chazonoff, Chief Operating Officer
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