A Reminder from Visa

16 January 2001
The Visa International board of directors have sent member banks another notice with details for its Internet gambling transaction policies.

The reminder could be a gentle hint that Visa International will be taking a closer look at what's happening among its member banks to make sure everyone is following its guidelines. Those caught violating the regulations could get slapped with hefty fines, as much as $25,000 per violation, an industry expert said.

The directives, established in 1999, are as follows:

  • On line transactions must be accurately flagged during authorization/capture with an Electronic Commerce Indicator, and flagged as "High Risk Telemarketing merchant transactions."
  • The MCC designation for "quasi cash", as referred to in the VISA rules now will be renamed Electronic Gambling Transactions."
  • MCC code 7995 will be the proper classification for quasi-cash and online gaming merchants
  • The merchant must be a valid licensee of a jurisdiction that licenses gaming.
  • It is responsibility of cardholders to know their local laws regarding the legality of on-line gaming.
  • Provisions of Visa rules vis a vis on line gaming must be written into merchant agreement text.
  • The merchant's site must clearly state that it is the responsibility of the cardholder to know the rules.
  • The merchant's site must clearly describe the rules of play, rules of payout and schedule of payout; the rules must be printable by the cardholder so they can keep them in hard copy form.
  • Interchange is unchanged.
  • Credits are not allowable for payment of winnings.
  • Only adults will be allowed to play using VISA cards for payment.
  • Merchants must be required to place financial guarantees. Security should be kept for at least 6 months after the last transaction. There must be regular review of adequacy of security.
  • VISA member banks should encourage use of encryption technologies such as SET.
  • Merchants should be encouraged to follow "best practices" of their industry.
  • VISA member banks must monitor credit card activity of Internet gambling merchants.
  • There will be fines for non-compliance by member banks and merchants.
  • Member banks must inform merchants of these requirements.