MasterCard Hitting Online Casino’s Hard

Just before the big Super Bowl weekend, when online betting is increased due to the Super Bowl themed events, MasterCard beefed up their anti-gambling related protocols and mounts a massive transaction decline initiative for all online gambling transactions. While US banks and credit card companies have had policies in place which restrict transactions associated with online gambling for some time, online casino operators were still having significant success in MasterCard transaction approval rates through modifications they made to the identifying codes being associated with the transactions. Upon passage of the UIGEA bill, the US banks and credit card companies implemented a coding system which would identify merchant transaction types, including a code specifically designed to flag online gambling transactions. When these codes came through requesting approval, the transaction was immediately declined by the credit card companies. However it didn’t take long for online casino operators to come up with a work around solution.

Online casinos began using a modified code that legally covered up their true identity, and hence, credit card transactions were being approved at online casinos. Well this is no longer an effective work around solution as MasterCard has tasked a team of individuals to manually intercept the transactions. They began to suspect that the transactions were being ‘uncoded’ so that they would not be filtered out and flagged as online gambling related transactions, hence, the manual interception initiative began. Casino operators are skeptical that MasterCard will be able to keep up the manual interceptions long term as it requires a great deal of time, effort and resources devoted to a project that doesn’t really bring in revenue, but rather rejects it.

In the meantime, players can take comfort in the fact that there are some terrific alternatives for them out there, and that there is actually a nice variety of Online Casino Deposit Methods to choose from. USA players are having great success with some of the e-wallet options and the prepaid card options. Non-USA players have a complete smorgasbord of exceptional online deposit methods to choose from. While MasterCard’s recent moves to enforce the restriction of online gambling transactions may cause some minor inconveniences for some players, they really can’t make a dent in the online gaming industry at large.

Thursday 02-11-10

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