The legality of online casinos has made headlines yet again as a number of payment operators have denied their services to gaming sites. The financial services company, American Express, has rejected any form of relationship with online casinos following controversy this year. Internet reports earlier in the week have indicated that the Rome Casino had been accepting deposits from players using their American Express cards, transactions which the US company claims are completely unauthorized.
Vice President of American Express, Christine Elliot, said that the refusal upholds a fundamental principle of the company and represents a “long standing policy that American Express cannot be accepted for gambling.” She went on to add that American Express is uncompromising in this belief and takes any infringement of this code extremely seriously saying that “any merchant found to be in violation of this policy is terminated immediately from card acceptance.”
Whilst the Rome Casino site does not directly declare its refusal of American Express, its strategies page encourages players to seek other methods of payment. “Due to restrictions imposed upon Rome Casino by Visa International, Mastercard, and American Express”, it writes, “we can no longer process any portion of any withdrawal to a Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit card including the players’ original deposits”. The hostility of the firm is already being contrasted with up and coming companies such as PayPal, a new payment processor which readily offers its services to online gaming sites. As US states continue to discuss the possibilities of legalization, alternative companies will be eagerly awaiting new opportunities for online payment schemes as mainstream operators decline some potentially lucrative business.