Use of credit cards in online gambling is outlawed by industry regulator

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Issuing its first regulatory enforcement of 2020, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has this morning confirmed that it has sanctioned its widely anticipated ban on credit card transactions carried across all UK gambling verticals.

The ban follows a review of the current United Kingdom industry's landscape, from both the commissions and government.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, stressed that although understanding that consumers used credit cards because they were convenient, the risk of harm to others was too high to allow such usage to continue.

"The risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have."

He added: 'We realise that this change will inconvenience those consumers who use credit cards responsibly, but we are satisfied that reducing the risk of harm to other consumers means that action must be taken.

Culture Minister Helen Whately said: 'Whilst millions gamble responsibly, I have also met people whose lives have been turned upside down by gambling addiction.

"Throughout 2020, we look forward to working with the Gambling Health Alliance to evaluate the current system and take forward evidence based recommendations for a wider package of measures to tackle gambling related harm and protect the public's health".

In fact, even the people who believed that the ban on credit card gambling was inevitable speculated that it would only be applicable to online gambling.


United Kingdom gaming operators were told to participate in the Gamstop multi-operator self-exclusion scheme by the end of March or risk losing their licence.

"We will implement a ban on credit cards and indeed our members will go further to study and improve the early identification of those at risk".

Frustratingly, none of the gambling operators who responded to the consultation supported a ban.

"We are confident that the launch of GAMSTOP as a one-stop self-exclusion scheme for all licensed operators will allow us to grow the service significantly and to provide greater protection to consumers".

Shares in GVC Holdings, the owner of Coral and Ladbrokes, William Hill and 888 Holdings dipped by between one per cent and three per cent by 9am on Tuesday. Despite forming a new safer gambling initiative late previous year, these operators are still suggesting that credit card use is not a direct factor in causing gambling harm.

"It's another success on the list that will see football shirt sponsorship banned, limits for online slots, complete bans on TV advertising and all children being taught that if they say the word gambling three times, their Instagram likes will disappear". All operators among our coverage have disclosed that their credit card exposure in the United Kingdom is mid-single digits in terms of their deposits.

Adam Bradford, co-founder of the Safer Online Gambling Group, welcomed the move.

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