HSBC bank stops allowing credit card use for internet gamblingThe HSBC bank no longer permits its customers to pay for online gambling with the bank’s credit cards. The story has come to the fore again since Malta’s lottery operator, Maltco has asked its agents to stop using HSBC credit cards and to replace them with a card from another bank before the end of this month. It seems that the bank actually prevented customers from using its credit cards to pay for internet gambling transactions several months ago but some players claim that they could still use their credit card for online payments up until very recently.As far back as 2007, several banks started to bring in restrictions on the use of credit cards to gamble in online casinos. One way the banks tried to curb these payments using their credit cards was to charge for the transaction as if it were a cash advance which meant that the client was charged quite a high interest rate on the amount spent right from the time of the transaction. This change put in place by the HSBC and many other banks including MBNA and the royal Bank of Scotland- NatWest meant that the transactions in online casinos or on poker sites were no longer treated as a cash purchase but as a cash advance. In general the banks said that the ban on using credit cards for gambling had a dual purpose to prevent fraud and also to stop people building up large debts on their card by paying for their gambling.

When asked about the ban on using its credit card for online gambling and why the bank didn’t issue any announcement concerning this decision, a spokesperson for HSBC said that the bank was following legal advice in banning credit cards in this case. The bank has also let it be known that it is concerned by the growth in gambling on unlicensed online casinos, poker rooms and betting sites. This is also cited as a concern by other banks that have withdrawn the use of credit cards by their clients to pay for their online gambling.