UK Considers Credit Card Ban in an Attempt to Curb Compulsive Gambling

UKGC Bans Credit Cards as payment at online casinos

Posted at: 24 Februrary 2019

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced on Thursday that it has opened a consultation with public, stakeholders and casino operators regarding the use of credit cards in online gambling. The UKGC notice states that the Commission “is seeking meaningful input to help determine if restrictions, potentially including an outright ban, are necessary to limit risks to consumers”.

According to responsible gambling organisations and the UK gambling watchdog, a prohibition on using credit cards for depositing would make the online gambling process safer, as players would be deterred from risking money they do not have.

The Commission has been mulling over a credit card ban for a while. Now, it seeks the opinion of the public before making its final decision – to impose restrictions or to place a complete ban.

The outright ban has a lot of proponents among the government figures and the representatives of responsible gambling organizations. Back in 2018, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports held a consultation and put forward the recommendation for a total ban of credit cards for gambling purposes.

However, the idea for a ban on credit cards provoked a flurry of disapproving comments from casino players. According to them, such a ban would be pointless as there is a way to flout the law and fund an e-wallet with a credit card or cash out on an ATM and buy a prepaid card.

In other news, the UKGC has announced that casino players would go through rigorous age verification checks aimed at preventing minors from playing real money games. In addition, the UKGC officials seek the public input about the need for a free gambling blocking software.

As of April 1st, the betting limits of all FOBT machines will be decreased from £100 to £2. As a result, many betting shops are at risk of shutting down, including shops of industry leaders such as Ladbrokes and William Hill.

The UKGC has also set limits on the free-to-play games. The new rules come into force on May 7th.

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