The UK has taken a few blows lately with online casinos withdrawing from the market due to the burden of regulation. Now, the UK gambling scene is about to change again as the British government has banned the use of credit cards. The ban will apply to all forms of online gambling thanks to a government review into online gambling and social responsibility in the industry.
The UK Are About to Ban Credit Cards for Gambling
It is the latest move to try and prevent exploitation of vulnerable customers as the Gambling Commision announced the UK will ban the use of credit cards for online gambling and placing bets.
The ban will come into play on the 14th April 2020 and online casinos will be barred from letting their customers use credit cards to fund their accounts. The ban actually applies to all forms of gambling but will exclude the sale of National Lottery tickets. The commission recognised that it would be too difficult for retailers to separate the use of credit and debit cards used in grocery stores and newsagents.
The UK will ban the use of credit cards for online gambling from the 14th April to help prevent exploitation of vulnerable players.
The ban has come off the back of some government reviews that have looked further into online gambling within the United Kingdom. Major operators that include Bet365 Casino, PokerStars and Betfair all allow their players to currently use credit cards. Campaigners have argued that this allows gamblers to run the risk of racking up huge debts.
Will E-Wallets be Effected?
The new ban will limit players to their debit cards to prevent them from overextending themselves. The consultation which led to the commission’s decision also included the use of e-wallets. This is indicating that payment services such as PayPal are likely to be included in the ban but the Commission will unveil more rules in the coming months.
Preventing Financial Harm
The Gambling Commission has said that there are 24 million adults in Britain that gamble. Data from thinktank Finances has shown that 800,000 British people used credit cards to gamble throughout 2018.
The main reason for this ban is to help problem gamblers or potential addiction and Neil McArthur the CEO of the Gambling Commission said “Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.”
He also added “Research shows that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards are problem gamblers, with even more suffering some form of gambling harm. We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability. There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent.”
A Big Move for GamStop too
In addition to the credit card ban the commission will also make GamStop mandatory for all online casinos. It will become a condition of their licenses which they will need to abide by if they want to continue operating.
GamStop allows players to block themselves from gambling when they give their personal details which is then shared to prevent them from opening new accounts elsewhere. The system is also designed to spot attempts to fool it, such as by using pseudonyms.
All online operators will be required to sign up to the GamStop scheme as it will become a condition of their license.
Any operators who hold a UKGC license and haven’t already signed up to the GamStop scheme will be required to when it comes into effect. This move had previously been delayed amid concerns that it could not guarantee that people who had registered to it would not also be sent marketing material encouraging them to place bets. However, now the regulator is finally satisfied that GamStop is effective.
A Shake up of the Gambling Act
There are also mounting expectations that the government will soon begin the process of drawing up a brand new Gambling Act. This will then replace the current Act which was passed in 2005 by Tony Blair’s government but has recently been criticised for dramatically reducing regulation.
Join us in the Discussion
We’ve already started the discussion over in the forum so if you have any questions or you are worried how this is going to affect you, please feel free to join us there.