|A small number of banks have been joined by People’s Bank in blocking cardholders from using their credit cards for online gambling activities. On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer declared that People’s Bank was one of ten banks to follow in Citibank’s footsteps by blocking credit card transaction codes for online gambling sites. |
This essentially meant that customers will not be able to use bank issued credit cards to fund their gambling hobbies. Spitzer suggested that banks had an ethnic and legal obligation to block credit card transactions paying for online gambling and further commented by saying 'This is a turning point in the credit card industry'.
People’s and other out of state banks had agreed upon paying $335,000 in costs to New York State, following an investigation by Spitzer’s office. It was reported that the office described the settlement as “a trend in law enforcement to focus on intermediaries in combating illegal online activity.”
Since Citibank made an agreement to block Internet gambling credit card utilization in June and paid a hefty $400,000 to a non-profit group helping problem gamblers, many credit card issuing groups have implemented these changes.
According to Spitzer it was after the agreement made with Citibank that his office started approaching other banks issuing credit cards to New York residents. However Valerie Carlson a spokeswoman for People’s Bank said “We were working on it” and began notifying credit card customers about the block in early November.