Future of Online Gambling in the U.S. Impacted By Bank Refusals
Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey have all opened their doors to online casinos. Online gambling is poised to becoming a huge moneymaker in all three states, estimates from H2 Gambling Capital put the potential as high as $7.4 billion in yearly revenue. Just as things seemed to be taking off nicely, however, a number of banks and payment processors are adding a hurdle that's proving to make online gambling difficult for some players.
American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Paypal, and Wells Fargo have all announced they will not accept any credit card transactions related to online gambling. Representatives for the American Bankers Association say fears of underage gambling and the liability from other legal violations are causing banks and payment processors to opt out.
Problems in the Legalized U.S. Online Casinos
Nevada admits that many players experienced problems when online poker became legal in April 2013. The state is still trying to work things out with credit card companies. Delaware experienced similar issues. Delaware's state lottery director stated that a number of online casino customers found their MasterCard and Visa transactions were denied when they tried to add money to their online casino account.
The Banks' Responses
According to a spokesperson for Visa, they recently updated their programs to recognize when a person lives in a state where online gambling is now legal. MasterCard also said they altered policies to allow credit cards to be used for casino transactions if the person is a legal resident in the state where they are depositing the money. Both companies state the final decision is in the hand of the bank. If the bank doesn't want to allow the charge to go through, they are within their rights.
For now, American Express, Bank of America, Discover, Paypal, and Wells Fargo are all saying they do not allow the transactions in order to meet federal compliance policies per the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The banks simply do not want to be at risk if a player lies about their age or place of residence.
What Players Can Do
According the Delaware's state lottery official, the state has not seen any problems with the use of debit cards for online gambling transactions. In the meantime, all three states are working hard to get credit card companies to accept transactions from players who are of legal age and live within the state where they are playing online casino games. Otherwise, many casinos are allowing players to add money to their online account through a wire, by mailing a check, or by visiting the casino and making a cash deposit.