New Codes in Hand, Some Banks Take Second Look at Online Gaming

By Colby Adams

The introduction of new merchant codes to identify legal online wagers has spurred a handful of U.S. banks to reconsider the compliance risks of processing payments for the online gaming industry, according to sources. Citing ambiguities in federal rules and an inability to distinguish legal from illegal online wagers, U.S. financial institutions for several years have avoided processing credit and debit card transactions linked to any form of online gaming, including bets made in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, where the activity is legal. In April, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover launched three new merchant codes that specifically identify...