Credit Card Casino Transactions Blocked Ahead of Schedule by Visa and MasterCard

Credit card processors have cut off thousands of online gaming enthusiasts from casino action, months before new laws would have caused the same result. This month, officials from Visa announced that they would suspend the charging privileges of companies using credit card transactions to fund online gambling accounts, regardless of those companies' home countries.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, set for enactment in June, would require credit card issuers and processors to suspend accounts of both merchants and consumers involved in online gambling. Visa joins MasterCard in enacting compliance with the new rules, far in advance of the official start date.

Some lawmakers hope to have the new rules delayed or overturned, since they would preclude state lottery and casino boards from authorizing their own, legal, online gambling programs. In the meantime, resourceful online gamblers have turned to networks of retail cashiers and third-party processors to keep themselves in the game. Shutting down credit card deposits may have deterred novice gamblers, but veteran players manage to find new loopholes.

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.