Financial transactions have long been a source of frustration for online gamblers in the United States. In New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, players have had issue with certain financial institutions not allowing transactions to take place for deposits and withdrawals for online poker gaming. Despite the changes to the Wire Act by the DOJ, specific providers have been leery of allowing transactions between operators and players. New Merchant Category Codes are set to be released tomorrow, specifically for online gaming transactions and should help the payment processing of the blossoming industry.
According to a report at OnlinePokerReport, Discover, American Express, Visa and MasterCard have all agreed on the new codes that will be related to online gaming. For state operated online lotteries the code will be 7800 while state operated online casino games will have a code of 7801. State operated dog and horse racing will have a code of 7802.
The codes will now be part of a grouping for online gaming including the 7995 code which was already in place for unregulated online gaming transactions. Even though states have been offering online lottery ticket sales, casino and poker gaming for some time now, financial institutions and banks seem to be worried to be involved in the transaction of deposits and withdrawals. Several banks including Wells Fargo and the Bank of America have blocked transactions involved in online gambling even if the activity takes place on a regulated gaming site.
Since launching online poker in the US, both New Jersey and Nevada have seen an increase in successful credit card usage for financial transactions online at gaming sites but the problem still exists and is hurting the traffic numbers of the online poker sites. Without the declines in processing, players would be able to easily log online and make a deposit or withdrawal without issue.
The new codes were put in place to help the current problems with credit cards being used for financial transactions at online poker sites in the US. However, they are not going to a full solution to the problem. Banks are not legally obligated to process specific transactions and gambling is one that many are just too afraid to become involved in. It will be interesting to see if the codes have a strong impact on traffic numbers and if financial institutions will be more willing to process transactions with the additional coding available.
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