New Jersey could require stricter licensing for payment processors

New-Jersey-State-SealLas Vegas Review Journal – New Jersey wants stricter licensing requirements for companies that handle Internet gambling deposits and payments, in the hope it would make banks more willing to let online bettors use credit cards.

Banks’ reluctance to allow credit card use is one of the main things holding back the growth of New Jersey’s new Internet gambling industry.

Speaking Tuesday at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City, state Senator James Whelan, a former Atlantic City mayor, said a bill introduced in February would require payment processors to obtain a casino industry service license.

Payment processors currently are only required to get an ancillary license, which is easier to get.

“We’re hoping to do a bill that will require them to be licensed so that will maybe give some comfort to the financial institutions,” Whelan said. “Hopefully the financial institutions that are scratching their heads about Internet gambling will have a little more assurance.”

The aim is to get banks and other financial institutions to allow more of their credit cards to be used in Internet gambling in New Jersey.

“If it does that, then that’s great,” said David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. “If that gives them some comfort, it works for us.”

The division says MasterCard has approved 73 percent of attempted transactions in New Jersey since Internet gambling began in November, while Visa has approved 44 percent. American Express and Discover do not approve any such charges.

“We still have some work to do with our banks,” said Keith Smith, president of Boyd Gaming, which owns half of the Borgata. “We have to assure them that we know who our customers are, that they are placing their bets in New Jersey and that we are taking the bets here in New Jersey.”

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