Credit Card Ban Takes Effect

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The ban on using credit cards to fund player accounts has come into effect.

As announced by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the Department for Culture, Media & Sport back in January the ban on being able to use credit card funds for gambling is now in operation. The move was welcomed by the Betting & Gaming Council Chair Brigid Simmonds who stated their intent to take their collective support a stage further. “We will implement a ban on the use of credit cards and indeed our members will go further to study and improve the early identification of those at risk. The use of credit cards was previously used as a potential marker of harm which might lead to further intervention with customers”.

The ban itself applies to both on and offline products but doesn’t include the National Lottery and scratch cards purchases over the counter in shops. The chief executive of the UKGC Neil McArthur commented that the ban has come into effect at a time where an increase in the use of online products such as slots and virtual sports with interest growing further during the current lockdown situation. “This is another milestone and we will continue to look for ways to make gambling safer” said McArthur.

Comment:

It is good to see that the Betting and Gaming Council have welcomed another regulation showing its ongoing commitment to the reduction of harmful behaviour. Not everyone who uses a credit card is doing so to access funds that don’t belong to them but there is no doubt that the potential for harm exists more with credit cards then it does with other forms of payment. The ban presents the opportunity for players to source other forms of borrowing to fund their activity, but it is likely that the reduction in problematic behaviour will far outweigh whatever alternatives are used. Ultimately the collaboration between the UKGC, the operators and the financial sector has to be viewed as a positive step and one that further highlights the industry recognising the actions that it must take.

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