Credit cards put squeeze on online bettors

Feb 23, 2010 4:59 PM
Staff & Wire Reports |

It seems like banks and credit cards are putting the squeeze on players who want to gamble on the Internet.

Just two short weeks after MasterCard announced its block on American online casino deposits, another major credit card company has decided to follow its lead.

Now, VISA will be pulling out of the online gambling market, prohibiting American players from depositing money using their credit cards. There is no word yet on whether or not the block will affect Canadian players.

Although neither company has stated a particular reason behind their decisions, onlookers believe that VISA and MasterCard are preparing for the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. If the UIGEA is enforced, online gambling will become illegal in the United States, a possibility that has many international companies preemptively removing themselves from the country’s market.

If the act is overturned, however, MasterCard, VISA and every other company that has pulled out of America’s online casinos may regret their decisions – the market’s worth is estimated at $12 billion.

Now that the two biggest credit card companies are no longer an option, potentially thousands of players are going to be left without a way to fund their accounts.

Luckily, players have many other options to choose from, many of which do not require players to divulge any personal banking information to their online casino.

For example, e-wallets like NeTeller and Moneybookers, operate on the same premise as PayPal, as players can transfer money from their bank account through a third-party system.

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