Proposed Credit Card Ban on Internet Gamblers Not Logical Say Critics

There has been a lot of talk in congress about the legalization of online gambling. Two bills have been introduced one by representative Peter King and another by6 representative Joe Barton. Kings bill would legalize most forms of online gambling including internet bingo. Barton’s bill would only legalize poker and all other forms of online gambling would remain illegal. Many in the gambling industry believe that federal legislation is desirable and one set of regulations is better than fifty sets of rules and regulations set by the states.

Barton’s bill contains one provision that is sure to generate controversy among the supporters of legal online gambling. Barton’s bill would prohibit the use of credit cards at online gambling sites. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act prohibits banks, credit card companies and other payment services from handling any credit card transactions. Many online gamblers in the US use pre-paid credit cards and third party payment processors to get around the rules.

By adding restrictions on the games permitted and the credit card ban many in the gaming industry feel these consumer protections will not apply to a majority of online gamblers who prefer to play other games than poker. Many believe that the Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013 has good intentions but the exclusion of credit cards will not be good for the online gaming industry. Most agree that as the intrastate Internet gambling activity grows there will be a need for consistent regulations and that federal legislation is the best way to accomplish this.

Michael Waxman, the spokesman for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative told reporters “The prospect for congressional action has significantly improved now that we’re down to the decision over whether Internet gambling activity is going to be regulated on a state-by-state basis or by the federal government …Congress should be encouraged to seize, not cede regulation of the industry. Moreover, the Internet, online commerce, and online gambling are by nature interstate activities, demanding the attention of federal, not state, regulators.”

Some critics say there is no logic behind the credit card prohibition. Waxman spoke about the issue and said “Credit card use is encouraged by regulators in other countries because they offer far greater consumer protections than other payment vehicles …There’s no way rules can be developed to stop people from finding a way to use funds from their credit cards to gamble online. It’ll just make the transaction and transfer of money a lot less transparent. “