One of the worlds largest banks, HSBC, has shocked European online gamblers by blocking credit card transactions when users of cards issued by the bank are attempting to deposit at their online casino or poker room of their choice. The bank has stated that the spread of unlicensed gambling sites as the reason for this, and we must at this point state that this does in no way affect US online slots and casino games players.
Reports surfaced on a Maltese news site that blocks has been put in place, and Maltco the islands regulated and licensed lottery provider has advised all of their agents to switch banks by the end of the month. David Hall of HSBC has stated that the bank is acting on legal advice and at the same time gave reasons why no notice of the blocks was given, saying that, “We did not issue a press release on the ban, If you have an illegal site and you put out a notice saying you won’t allow transactions involving an illegal site, it would be perverse.” The news site also revealed that support representatives of the bank were not informed either.
This is a blow to the legal companies that rely on credit card transactions being processed, those companies such as the Malta Lottery, and business is sure to be affected. This is in some way similar to what is happening at present in the regulated online gambling market in the US, where in states such as New Jersey, where online gambling is fully licensed and regulated, banks are refusing to process customers credit card transactions. It is reported that around 75% of all online gaming transactions to regulated igaming companies in the Garden State are being blocked by the banks, which is massively detrimental to the fledgling regulated online gaming industry.