UK's Royal Bank of Scotland has recommended to its online gambling clients that they find another bank to service transactions from the Netherlands and Switzerland going forward.
A Royal Bank of ScotIand International (RBSI) spokesperson confirmed the decision to EGR and said that it followed a review “….to take account of changes in the legal and regulatory regimes in the countries in which we operate”. The spokesman denied that the decision was a consequence of its merger with Dutch banking giant ABN AMRO, the Dutch retail operations of which fall under the control of the government of the Netherlands.
Dutch banks recently came under pressure from the government to halt online gambling financial transactions in a unilateral move which has triggered a European Commission investigation and a private legal action by betting group Betfair.
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EGR reports that all gambling companies banking with RBSI in Alderney, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man that have exposure to the Swiss and Dutch gambling markets have been requested to find another provider for related transactions "within a time limit agreed between themselves and the bank."
Given the confidentiality of banking arrangements, it is unknown exactly how many of the approximately 80 online gaming operators and management companies licensed in Alderney, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man have been affected.
EGR points out that Switzerland and the Netherlands only allow lotteries and sports betting to be offered online by state-licensed gaming monopolies. Both undertook recent initiatives aimed at reinforcing their protectionist position and opposition to the provision of services by EU-licensed gambling operators across borders within the European Economic Area.