The gambling regulatory body of the UK has officially confirmed that credit cards would no longer be allowed to be used for gambling transactions as of April 2020.
The decision follows the calls for stricter regime in the online gambling sector that have been made by charity organisations and other anti-gambling campaigners. The move that was announced by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) after a number of reviews is also aimed at tackling rising problem gambling rates and ensuring better protection for the most vulnerable members of society, including compulsive gamblers and underage individuals.
As the gambling regulator revealed earlier today, the ban on credit cards use in online gambling transactions is set to be brought into action on April 14th. The suspension is would cover both land-based and online betting activities that take credit cards as a payment method. The only exception is set to be made for co-called non-remote lotteries where payments are traditionally made face-to-face.
The boss of the UKGC, Neil McArthur, shared that the gambling regulator was aware of the fact that many gamblers preferred to use credit cards to pay for their bets simply because it was more convenient, but the truth was that taking credit cards as a commonly used payment method significantly increases the risks for gambling-related harm both to the player and other people. According to Mr McArthur, the recently announced ban should lead to a decline in the risks of customers facing gambling-related harm with money they do not actually have.
Credit Card Ban Unveiled as Part of Regulatory Efforts to Protect British People from Gambling-Related Harm
The chief executive of the Gambling Commission further noted that according to recent research, about 22% of people who gamble online and use credit cards for these payments could be categorised as gambling addicts. The percentage rate of the ones suffering some form of gambling-related harm is even higher.
The rising popularity of credit cards as a commonly-used payment method in gambling transactions has raised the concerns of local regulators that such practice could lead to problem gamblers accumulating thousands of pounds of debt through compulsive gambling. The thing is, credit cards do not simply offer them convenience for payments regardless of the place and time but also make cash availability much easier. Moreover, gambling with money they do not actually own could prevent players from actually realising the extent of their gambling, not to mention it could lead to chasing losses to a great extent, too.
The newly-unveiled regulation is based on the long-time policy of the UKGC to help problem gamblers deal with the harmful habit and make them easier for them to control their compulsive gambling.
The past year has seen the UK Government and the major gambling watchdog work in collaboration to unveil a wave of stricter measures both for the retail and the iGambling sector in the country. Back in April 2019, the Government has finally imposed the long-awaited tougher regime for the maximum stakes allowed to be offered by fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) after the machines being accused of fuelling gambling-related harm inflicted on British gamblers. Furthermore, the regulators have unveiled stricter identity and age checks for online gambling customers, with the gambling operators being obliged to carry out quicker and more in-depth checks in order to make sure no underage individuals or former gambling addicts get access to their services.