Gambling using credit cards to be banned in UK this year

The Gambling Commission made their announcement today (Photo: Shutterstock)The Gambling Commission made their announcement today (Photo: Shutterstock)
The Gambling Commission made their announcement today (Photo: Shutterstock) | Other 3rd Party
UK residents will be banned from using credit cards to gamble following an announcement from The Gambling Commission.

The ban has been created in an effort to reduce the potential harm and risks of gambling.

800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble

The Gambling Commission has announced a ban on gambling businesses allowing consumers in the UK to use their credit cards to gamble.

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“24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those gambling online. UK Finance estimates that 800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble,” The Commission explains.

“Separate research undertaken by the Commision shows that 22 per cent of online gamblers using credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers - with even more at some risk of harm.”

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said, “Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban we have announced today (Tue 14 Jan) should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.”

Mr McArthur said that the ban was part of the “ongoing work to reduce gambling harm”. He explained that there would be more work needed to ensure consumers aren’t at risk when gambling.

When does the ban come into effect?

The ban will come into action on 14 April 2020.

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The ban comes off the back of the Commission’s review of online gambling and the Government’s review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures. A public consultation was also carried out between August and November of 2019.

It also comes two year after groups like GambleAware and Citizens Advice called for the government to create policies to protect people from falling into addiction.

Who does the ban affect?

The Commission states that the ban will apply to all online and offline gambling products, with the exception of non-remote lotteries.

As it stands, betting websites such as PokerStars, 888 and Betfair all let customers make online deposits using credit cards. This will no longer be the case following the ban.

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In the announcement from The Gambling Commission, they said, “We acknowledge that National Lottery and society lottery tickets and scratch cards can be bought in supermarkets and newsagents along with other products. It would be a disproportionate burden on retailers to identify and prevent credit card payments for lottery tickets if they form part of a wider shop.”

The statement continued, “National Lottery retailers are trained in preventing excessive play and National Lottery draw-based games have the lowest problem gambling rate of any product at 1 per cent.”

Online reaction

After hearing the news of the ban, many people took to social media platform Twitter to share their thoughts on the news.

One user wrote, “Happy to hear about the credit card ban for gambling. Big step in the right direction!”

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Another shared their own experiences of online gambling, “Last year I facilitated my gambling using a credit card online. The ban would have prevented me from doing so and saved a huge amount of damage. Of course there are other ways and more needs to be done but excellent news.”

However, some users expressed reservations about how much impact the ban will really have, with one user writing, “Imagine if you could transfer your credit card balance to a debit card account, or use PayPal attached to your card… Oh wait… You can. It seems obvious those making the ban have little idea of how online gambling deposits work.”