The UK Gambling Commission Started Enforcing the Credit Card Gambling Ban
The much-anticipated credit card gambling ban came into force in the UK as of the 14th of April. The UK Gambling Commission announced the credit card ban in January, but it has been in the making for a long time now. Between August and November 2019, a public consultation was carried out, as well as the Government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, which led to the eventual implementation of the ban.
As of the 14th of April, therefore, UK players are not able to use a credit card as a payment method across online casinos. The ban extends to gambling with e-wallets that work with credit cards.
The Credit Card Gambling Ban Came into Force in the UK
The UK Gambling Commission issued a statement on the 14th of April, informing all players and operators that the credit card gambling ban came into force. The ban was announced by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the UKGC in January. The widely-publicized ban applies to gamble with a credit card and credit card-related payment methods, such as eWallets.
On the reasons for the ban, the Commission explained that it was an important step for protecting the 10.5 million UK players who gamble online from harm. Numerous studies showed that over 800,000 UK players use credit cards to gamble, and 22% of them are problem gamblers or suffering from gambling-related harm.
The Commission also reminded operators that payments with e-wallets are accepted, as long as those e-wallets prevent credit card used for gambling purposes. The watchdog added that it was noticed that some players changed their gambling habits during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it had to take steps to remind those players of how gambling operators were supposed to keep them safe when gambling online.
That being said, the Commission reminded players that they could always contact the National Gambling Helpline if worried about their or someone else’s gambling behaviour. The NGH provides advice and support for anyone affected by gambling-related problems in the UK. The regulator encouraged all players interested in getting help to visit the gamcare.org.uk official website, or call the number 0808 8020 13.
Chief Executive’s Statement
The UK Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive Neil McArthur said that the credit card gambling ban would further protect players from financial and gambling harm, announcing that as of the 14th of April, nobody in the UK could use a credit card to gamble. He said it was a ban that ultimately reduced the risks of harm to players with money they did not have or could not afford.
On a similar note, McArthur added that the ban came at a vital time, as an increase in the use of some online products, such as virtual sports and slots, was noticed since the lockdown had begun. That highlighted just how important it was for gambling operators to keep players safe. And the credit card ban would help that. Finishing his statement, McArthur added that that was another milestone and that the Commission would continue looking for ways to make gambling in the UK safer.