As a part of safeguarding the citizens of the United Kingdom from undergoing major loss and often under debt due to problematic gambling habits, the government took a step to ban gambling using credit cards. According to the regulatory body of the gambling industry in Britain, this is a part of adding another barrier of protection to prevent people from being affected by gambling addiction. The ban came into force on the 14th of April 2020.
Studies found that 24 million adults have indulged in gambling within the boundaries of Great Britain among which almost half of the punters prefer gambling online. Shockingly, the UK finance estimates up to 800,000 of them are users of credit cards to pay off their gambling bills.
This step taken by the UK is urging people worldwide to be cautious about their steps as well as making the regulatory bodies of gambling industries of various countries reconsider their policies in order to create a safer environment for gamblers. For example, the Australian government got inspired to change their player protection terms following the successful step taken by the UK government.
UKGC Banned the Use of Credit Cards in Gambling
Studies found, 22% of the online punters using their credit cards to pay off the gambling bills are among the ones struggling with gambling issues. Hence, this ban is directed towards both online and offline gamblers although there are significant upsides of using credit cards for gambling, the convenience of it is not worth the risk that hangs over their heads, and hence the complete disallowance in using credit cards is a valid method of safeguarding them.
While this rule all gambling sites with UK licence do not accept this payment method, there are still credit card gambling sites on NonGamStopBets allowing British players to deposit with a cash advance option. The main difference between those operators is a licence, as they do not fall under UKGC jurisdiction, they are not obligated to introduce the rule.
The step has been taken very timely considering the surge in the number of innovative products in the gambling market online like online slots, virtual sports, etc. It has also been noted that peoples’ enthusiasm has grown towards the gambling industry since the lockdown of 2020 with the spread of COVID-19.
The regulatory body considers this approach as a successful milestone in implementing safeguards and they are looking forward to continually finding ways to make gambling comparatively safer than before. Moreover, it has been suggested to the gambling operators by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission that customers can only opt for payments via e-wallet if only the e-wallet prevents the usage of credit cards for gambling purposes. It has been directed to these operators to take steps towards public welfare by the government.
Reasons for Such Actions
Oftentimes, credit cards become sources of cash for gamblers to play with. While it can be directly used as withdrawing from cash machines or depositing into E-wallet options, people can also deposit the same in third-party accounts to fund for the game. These can easily lead people into getting involved in threatening situations and the associated harms.
Protection of Customer Funds
The step has been taken keeping in mind not just vulnerable gamblers but also to hinder underage gambling which is considered illegal in the UK.
Most of these gambling sites use advanced SSL encryption technology in order to keep the customer data safe but keeping the credit card option to pay for gambling bills out of reach will definitely help to protect the funds of customers.
Preventing Possible Debts
There are several levels of financial harm when it comes to gambling addiction and usage of credit cards to pay gambling bills. It has a major impact on peoples’ lives as well as households especially in those that are spared from affluence.
Financial vulnerability is a direct by-product of credit card usage. Online gambling using credit cards can result in the accumulation of a hefty amount of debts since people oftentimes lose their control swayed by the spirit of gaming. Moreover, over usage of credit cards especially for gambling has often lead people into bankruptcy at an increased rate.
Safer Gambling Policies
In order to preach the practice of gambling in moderation, the credit card ban in the UK by the Gambling Commission has been a successful step keeping in mind the concern of shifting gambling from an addictive activity to a form of entertainment.
This initiative from the government encourages the safer practice of gambling but educating people as well as banning people from engaging in harmful activities.
The United Kingdom took an exemplary step in keeping the citizens safe. It definitely received some major backlashes but ultimately the government proved that serving the citizens is among their biggest priorities. Countries like Australia followed the footsteps of the UK in banning credit cards for gambling use and hence it can be called a successful step in safeguarding people from gambling abuse.