HSBC Malta Blocks Online Gambling Credit Card Transactions
Customers of HSBC in Malta can no longer use their credit cards for online gambling due to the bank’s concerns about unauthorized gambling. Furthermore, agents of Maltco (the country’s lottery organization) have been told to choose another bank.David Hall, the group public affairs manager at the bank, said that it has acted on legal advice but wouldn’t provide more details about the advice. The bank claims to have stopped authorizing gambling transactions about a year ago, however, a number of customers said that they were able to gamble online until last week. One customer said that they started experiencing problems depositing funds at William Hill around ten days ago.
The bank’s customer representatives also seem to be taken by surprise by the move. Numerous representatives have been contacted on the bank’s credit-card hotline but only one was aware of the new prohibition.
Hall explained why there was no public statement on the ban, “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.”