Credit card company Visa is clamping down on online casinos transactions starting this week, in order to protect itself from lawsuits and government legislation. And that may affect Internet bettors everywhere.
Credit cards have been the predominant payment method at online casinos and sportsbooks for years, so much so that Visa set out operating regulations for Internet gambling transactions in June 1998 and again in November 1999. But those regulations haven’t been enforced – until this fall.
Visa has decided to crack down on merchants for two reasons: the introduction of legislation in the U.S. that seeks to ban the use of credit cards in Internet betting, and a series of lawsuits from people who used their Visa cards to gamble online.
On October 31, Rep. James Leach of Iowa reintroduced a bill that would prohibit the use of credit cards, checks, and debit cards in online wagering. While the implications of the bill are widespread, the real concern for Visa is that the company would be responsible for policing card use.
Visa has also faced a number of lawsuits in recent years from gamblers who have racked up tens of thousands of dollars of bad debt while using their credit cards to gamble online. The cardholders alleged that Visa was at fault for allowing them to illegally bet at Internet casinos, and the company ultimately has to absorb the losses.
Visa has announced that as of November 15, 2001 it will be cracking down by auditing all transactions from merchants that offer ‘gambling services’ in order to protect itself from both lawsuits and legislative prohibitions, as well as what it calls “the possibility of brand compromise” and “the added costs resulting from dispute resolution.”
But how does Visa know where the transactions originate? Online gambling Situs Judi Online merchants …