Online gamblers hustled by card providers

Online poker players look set to be fleeced twice over as the Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns Mint and Natwest, prepares to increase interest rates for gamblers.

The bank says that it has changed the way it defines gambling transactions that will allow them to charge a higher “cash” rate on online betting and in some cases an additional fee.

Cash rates are usually used when borrowers use their card in an ATM or to buy foreign currency, with rates as high as 29.94 per cent – a long way from the headline best rate.

“The gambling transactions are to be treated as ‘advances’, as this is felt to be a more accurate means of reflecting that a gambling transaction is effectively a cash equivalent exchange,” argued a Mint spokeswoman.

Egg has also said that it will be following suit, and will be charging online gamblers 25.5 per cent on all transactions, with a 2.5 per cent fee.

Mint will increase its gambling charges to 21.9 per cent, while the Royal Bank of Scotland and Natwest will increase charges to 25.5 per cent.

© Adfero Ltd

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