Visa to discontinue payments services for online gambling sites in Germany

Visa Waves Goodbye to Germany Online Gambling

Global financial corporation Visa has told its banks and payment processing partners in Germany that it will stop accepting payments from unregulated gambling sites. 

The third draft of the German State Treaty, set to be updated next year, states that the majority of online gambling activities in the country are illegal. 

Various offshore operators have already reacted to Visa’s announcement and removed such payment options from their websites. 

Players in Germany have also reported difficulties using MasterCard as a payment option. 

Over and out 

As of right now, only sports betting, state-run lotteries and online gambling within Schleswig-Holstein is legal in the EU’s largest country. 

Last month, it was announced that authorities in Germany had banned an international payment provider. However, no name was revealed at the time.

Tipico, which is partnered with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, has taken Visa down from its payment offerings. Meanwhile, Bwin has stated that it’s only possible to use this method for sports betting activities. 

According to online casinos operating in Germany, Visa and Mastercard have both sent out warnings. The two financial services companies have said that if they aren’t removed from German-facing sites, operators will also be banned from using them in other markets. 

A spokesperson from Visa has said that their cards can only be used for fully-licensed and legal transactions. This therefore suggests that if they don’t think it is already illegal, they believe it will be soon. 

Other payment methods have been shown the door too 

In the midst of the country deciding on laws for the fourth Interstate Treaty, the Ministry of Sport in Lower Saxony warned in April that bans for additional payment providers were on the way. 

PayPal also began leaving German online gambling a couple of years ago. GVC brands catering for this market had this payment option removed in 2018. LeoVegas also ditched the digital wallet service. 

According to reports, 19 payment processors held talks with authorities about removing their services from illegal operators in Germany. Of these, it’s believed that nine have committed to doing so.