German-facing Online Casinos to Lose MasterCard & Visa Payment Options

Germany Online Casinos to Lose MasterCard & Visa Payment Options

The German authorities’ crackdown on German online casinos has intensified as the casinos are set to lose access to services from MasterCard and Visa. This is coming in the wake of renewed efforts by the German government to put a stop to illegal gambling transactions.

In the last couple of weeks, complaints have been rife on online gambling affiliate forums about certain online casinos not accepting MasterCard or Visa payments from German customers. The casinos had been arm-twisted into choosing between suspending payments from Germany or losing access to MasterCard or Visa in all markets.

German media outlet NDR on Wednesday reported that Visa had given instructions to its partner banks not to handle online casino withdrawals or deposits through its credit cards. A spokesperson for Visa stated that its retail banking partners were instructed “to ensure that only legal, properly licensed transactions are processed.”

However, it looks as if some operators are slipping through the net as observed by NDR. While Tipico, a local betting operator had removed all traces of Visa from its platform, BWin, a subsidiary of GVC Holdings informed German customers that they were accepting Visa payments for sports betting only.

Besides, NDR also discovered that it was actually possible to fund accounts at both BWin and Tipico. Representatives of both companies informed NDR of their belief that the German state’s treaty on gambling that makes online casino activity a criminal offence is incompatible with European Union law. 

The German government’s drive to stop payments to and from gambling sites licensed internationally began with PayPal last June when the payment processor severed all ties with its German customers a couple of months later. In January, the Ministry of Interior in the German state of Lower Saxony urged Germany’s banking industry associations not to forget their online gambling obligations.

In April, the Ministry proclaimed that it had “once again prohibited an internationally active payment service provider from participating in payment transactions in connection with illegal gaming in Germany.” While the ministry did not mention the provider in question, it stated that “further prohibition orders” were being sent to other processors.

The Ministry informed NDR that it was in talks with 19 unidentified payment processors, and 9 of those had suspended processing payments on behalf of German-facing online casinos. 

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