TS Anil, the current Chief Executive Officer of Monzo Digital Bank, has published an open letter to the Government of the United Kingdom calling for improved compliance by UK licensed operators and providers of financial services of responsible gambling safeguards.
Review of the 2005 Gambling Act
With UK gambling facing inevitable changes as the government undertakes its generational review of the 2005 Gambling Act, the declaration comes as social responsibility and consumer affordability take on increased significance.
Anil urged sports minister Nigel Huddleston, who is heading the review of the DCMS, to make the ‘self-exclusion increasingly seamless and efficient covering all gambling operators and businesses that transact with the sector.’
The procedure will include giving their bank information to gambling firms, leading to the ‘universal blocking of transactions’ for individual clients who have demanded self-exclusion.
Issuing a letter to the government, Anil stated: “We believe the government should take the opportunity afforded by the Gambling Act review to make sure every consumer in the UK can access these blocks, regardless of who they bank with.
“These tools are simple to build, proven to work, and will help protect hundreds of thousands of people.”
Gambling block service
Monzo has run the gambling-block service independently since 2018. The company’s 2019 corporate report reported that 250,000 clients requested the company to ban all purchases on online gaming websites.
The firm added: “Ultimately, the Gambling Act review offers a unique opportunity to create a world-leading self-exclusion framework in the UK to reduce gambling harms, and help consumers gain control of their finances.
“The rise in online gambling, and new ways to pay, requires a robust response from the government.”
Currently, each of the major UK banks has protections in place to encourage social responsibility in terms of gambling, but Monzo stressed its belief that barriers need to be removed for customers to interact with the available resources.
University of Bristol
Monzo’s ideas have been endorsed by the University of Bristol, as it continues to study the harms of gambling and the most fruitful approaches to help those at risk.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) also expressed its support for the Monzo guidelines in speaking to the Guardian by stating: “We support all forms of blocking capabilities and are encouraged by the continued uptake by banks of these functions.”