Earlier this week, UK lawmakers suggested that credit cards should no longer be allowed to use credit cards for online gambling transactions. While they’re debating the issue, HSBC UK (a major UK bank) revealed that they’ve already, independently take that same action.

Sometime last year, HSBC UK quietly stopped allowing its credit card customers to use their cards on gambling sites of all kinds. The decision was not announced in advance and came as a major surprise to players, one of whom posted on the internet, “I’ve been betting on the Internet with William Hill for over a year, but for the past 10 days I’ve been unable to deposit funds using my HSBC credit card.” It’s unclear why some customers were still able to make those transactions until just recently.

HSBC defended its decision to not announce the new policy in a statement reported on by the South China Morning Post saying, “We did not issue a press release (on the ban). If you have an illegal site and you put out a notice saying you won’t allow transactions involving an illegal site, it would be perverse.”

Though HSBC framed its decision on the use of its cards for transactions with illegal operations, it’s likely to have a big impact on problem gamblers. That’s the view that UK lawmakers have taken in their discussions about banning the use of credit cards for gambling transactions and they’re still likely to take on that same kind of ban.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe criticized the move saying, “We were aware of the possibility of such a move and we don’t quite understand the reasons. It’s not illegal as far as we’re concerned – what gives them the moral right to do that?”


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