HSBC has announced it is to raise the rates issued to those who use their credit cards for depositing money into online betting accounts.
Instead of the normal purchase rate of between 15.9 per cent and 22.9 per cent, the rates for online betting transactions will now be between 21.9 per cent and 27.8 per cent.
The reason cited for this increase is that the bank sees online betting as a cash advance, which widely incurs a higher rate of interest.
According to payments association Apacs, UK consumers spent £1.51 billion on gambling using their credit cards in the year up to June 2006.
However, a spokesperson for HSBC maintained that the changes were not due to customers acquiring bad debt, rather that they were concerned about “covering all the bases”.
“It is almost as if the banks are catching up with the online gaming revolution,” the spokesperson said.
There are a number of online gaming sites currently active, including partypoker.com and casino.co.uk.
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