German Punters Can No Longer Use Visa or MasterCard To Gamble Online
The German government has disbarred the use Visa and MasterCard at online casinos after releasing new regulations that limit iGaming operators in Germany. They will no longer be able to make use of these two payment processors which are widely used to make deposits and withdrawals at online gaming sites.
A local news report stated that Visa has already advised German banks to refuse processing deposits and withdraws from online gambling operators.
A Visa spokesperson said that only properly licensed and legal transactions can be processed through their card which indicates that Visa believes it is either illegal to use Visa for German iGaming sites right now or will be illegal very soon.
German punters have also reported having difficulties depositing and withdrawing on online casinos with MasterCard as well. Online casinos have mentioned that Visa and MasterCard have indicated that they must be removed from the casinos’ list of payment methods in Germany, or risk losing access to both payment providers’ services in other markets where these online casinos operate.
Tipico and bwin Respond Differently
Not all online casinos operating in Germany are adopting a similar approach to the news. The gambling firm Tipico has eliminated the use of Visa on their platform, while bwin which is a GVC Holdings brand still accepts Visa, but only for sports betting deposits
A local newspaper has reported that the Tipico and bwin accounts they created were both able to accept Visa deposits. Tipico and bwin spokespersons have gone on record to state that Germany is being too strict with their gambling laws, and that they were incompatible with the EU’s own regulations.
Lower Saxony Leading the Charge
The back and forth between German authorities and online gambling firms have been going on for quite some time now. Just last month the German state of Lower Saxony issued a warning on an anonymous payment provider to reject all transactions from illegal online gambling activities which in Germany covers all casino websites.
Lower Saxony also warned another anonymous payment provider in 2019, which some believe was PayPal, as the firm announced dropping out of the German iGaming market shortly after.
The state’s Minister of Interior and Sports, Boris Pistorius, said last year that payment providers are obligated to refuse all transactions with illegal gambling firms online. Pistorius also advised German banks to refuse all iGaming transactions.
Online gambling activities, including poker, are currently being curtailed by Germany’s Third State Treaty on Gambling, a temporary framework that will give way to a permanent law come mid-2021. The permanent law is expected to regulate legal online gambling in Germany.
Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world