|Last Thursday, a U.S. House subcommittee met to discuss the credit card and financial services industries’ role in online gambling.|
As part of a growing demand that the government limit access to Internet wagering, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations focused on the relationship between online gambling and financial service companies.
The odds were against representatives from the Interactive Gaming Council, the National Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Visa to start with.
James Leach of Iowa, a key subcommittee member, sponsored a bill that would make it illegal to use credit cards to pay debts for, or to receive profits from, Internet gambling.
Representatives from the gaming industry told the subcommittee that the U.S. government would be better off trying to regulate, not ban, the industry. And because of alternative payment solutions (PayPal), efforts to prevent credit card companies from processing transactions would prove unsuccessful.
Mark McCarthy, head lobbyist for Visa USA Inc, said that Leach’s proposed bill would put an unreasonable burden on Visa and other financial service companies to enforce federal regulations. Visa maintains that gamblers themselves should bear the responsibility for wagering online.
The debate surrounding the use of credit cards in online gambling is undoubtedly serious. In the near future, the U.S. federal government will have a major battle on their hands between the casinos, the credit card companies and themselves.