UKGC Enforces Ban On Credit Card Wagering

The UK Gambling commission (UKGC) continues its 2020 regulatory plan enforcing the outright ban on wagering on credit cards for all vertical gaming, implemented on Tuesday, April 14.

The expected ban on all credit transactions was approved this January, marking the first industry-wide regulatory compliance action by the Commission for 2020.

In its announcement in January, the Commission outlined the need for a blanket ban on credit wagering as a ‘further layer of protection,’ helping the government fulfil its UK mandate to preserve the ‘safest gambling environment.’

The approved credit ban shall extend to all verticals of online and offline gambling except for non-remote lotteries.

Prior to regulation, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, Neil McArthur, 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.

‘“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.”

UK Finance research reports that about 800,000 customers are spending on credit cards. The statistic represents a small fraction of the 24 million UK adults who gamble every year, 10.5 million of whom wager online.

The UKGC underlines in support of its compliance that ’22 percent of online gamblers using credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers – with even more at risk of harm.’ UKGC and its policy advisors are confident that the regulation would reduce gambling causes that trigger problems.

UKGC reports that the credit ban will be controlled and tested ‘for any unintended circumstances for consumers.’

The UKGC, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Department (DCMS), will continue to collaborate with incumbents in the banking industry and technology companies to tackle betting enforcement and gambling issues.

Working with broader industries, the UKGC and DCMS seek advice on how to improve UK’s gambling policy systems, technological standards and best practises by integrating emerging technology with deeper customer data.

U.K. Culture Minister Helen Whately endorsing guidelines said: “There is clear evidence of harm from consumers betting with money they do not have, so it is absolutely right that we act decisively to protect them.

“In the past year, we have introduced a wave of tougher measures, including cutting the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals, bringing in tighter age and identity checks for online gambling and expanding national specialist support through the NHS Long Term Plan. We have also secured a series of commitments from five leading gambling operators that will include £100 million funding towards treatment for problem gamblers.

“But there is more to do. We will be carrying out a review of the Gambling Act to ensure it is fit for the digital age and we will be launching a new nationwide addiction strategy in 2020”.