A British gambling charity organisation has urged local banks to strengthen their card blocking systems that were unveiled to help and protect individuals, who find it hard to control their gambling. The calls have followed the revelation that 40% of existing accounts do not offer any assistance in this area.
The British charity GambleAware, which is engaged with helping problem gamblers in the country, has carried out research that found that only 8 financial companies in the country offered their customers the chance to suspend future payments to gambling websites.
According to anti-gambling campaigners, the ability for customers to ask online gambling operators to block their payments is important, as it would provide such people with the opportunity to better control their gambling habits and prevent them from getting out of control. Problem gambling is believed to cost the country up to £1.2 billion on an annual basis, and the worst part is that it is considered devastating for the lives of all who are affected.
Researchers from the Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC) at the University of Bristol found that many banks were unsuccessful in providing their customers with the chance to block gambling transactions, or the controls were too easy to turn off. When analysing the effectiveness of the available blockers, the PFRC found some flaws in the service, with the findings adding even more tension in the criticism of anti-gambling campaigners against British banks that, according to them, should make more efforts to protect their customers against gambling-related harm.
Blocking Card Payments to Gambling Operators Not Offered as Standard Feature, GambleAware Claims
As GambleAware said, the Nationwide and Capital One do not offer an option to suspend card payments to gambling operators as a standard feature. Also, the customers of only three out of the eight banks offering the option provide their customers with the chance to immediately turn such transactions off.
The authors of the report cited by the gambling charity organisation have urged the British gambling regulatory bodies to make sure all financial institutions across the country have card blockers in place, with the restrictions for gambling payments unable to be lifted for no less than 42 hours. The researchers have also called on local banks to make more efforts to raise their customers’ awareness that such card blockers are available for them to use.
As Professor Sharon Collard from the University of Bristol shared, the research has found that bank card blockers for gambling payments are not available on approximately 40% of the existing personal accounts.
This basically means that about 28 million people do not have access to a tool that would allow them to suspend gambling spending and would protect them from experiencing further gambling-related harm. Professor Collard further shared that the researchers were addressing the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to recommend that gambling payments blocks should become standard on all debit and credit cards offered by local banks.