Visa, MasterCard, Lobbying Hard for Internet Gambling Regulations
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According to our research department at Casino Gambling Web, MasterCard has spent $880,000 in the first six months of this year to lobby the federal government.
The company lobbied on legislation related to the regulation and enforcement of Internet Gambling and online purchases of prescription drugs, among other areas that might help their bottom line.
MasterCard, through its paid lobbyists have contacted Congress, the Treasury, and the Justice Departments concerning their efforts.
While it is not official what their position is on Internet gambling, certainly they are concerned that any regulations coming from the passage of the UIGEA will put a serious financial burden on them.
Visa USA has in the first six months of this year given $200,000 to one lobbying company for various different legislation, one of which was Internet gambling.
As with MasterCard, Visa stands to make a lot of money if regulations are passed to allow this type of transaction, and lose much if they must disallow it. This loss will come from lost revenue due to not being able to process these types of transactions, and also the projected expense to monitor individual usage by as many as 25 million Americans.
“The cost of enforcement of the UIGEA is going to be very high, not only for these and other financial processing firms, but to the average American and many corporate entities,” said CGW gambling analyst Gordon Price.
The U.S. has lost a case to Antigua & Barbuda, where the WTO cited the UIGEA as protectionist, denying services to foreign companies, while allowing domestic companies to provide similar services.
“Clearly the UIGEA is bad legislation and needs to be undone,” said Price. “Major financial institutions are scrambling for ways to put the onus of enforcing the UIGEA on the government where it belongs, and not on private industry.”
Although credit industries frown on allowing credit cards to be used for gambling, they might just love to offer the use of debit cards. Internet gambling is a large market in the U.S. and currently, users of these services are finding other ways to transfer money to fund their accounts.