UK Gambling Commission has announced that using credit cards to place bets will be banned from April 14th 2020. Several e-wallets will be banned as well with strong possibility that PayPal tops the list.
So people who want to place online bets will have to do that by using either a Debit Card or through cash deposit into an account.
The regulation is an attempt to stop problem gambling or at least minimize the damage from the debt that problem gamblers easily fall into.
The legislation comes after several charity groups including GambleAware and Citizens Advice discussed the issue with Gambling Commission and the Government.
As FOBT legislation took place on 1st of April 2019, where stakes on slot machines has been cut to £2, this is another attempt to tackle problem gambling.
Around 10 million Brits bet online, which is approx 40% of the population that bet actively in Britain per year.
It is estimated that minimum 800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble. According to the commission, 22% of people paying for online bets with credit cards are classed as problem gamblers.
Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said: “Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.
“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability.
“There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent.”
Culture Minister Helen Whately said: “Whilst millions gamble responsibly, I have also met people whose lives have been turned upside down by gambling addiction.”
“There is clear evidence of harm from consumers betting with money they do not have, so it is absolutely right that we act decisively to protect them.”
“We have also secured a series of commitments from five leading gambling operators that will include £100m funding towards treatment for problem gamblers.”
“But there is more to do. We will be carrying out a review of the Gambling Act to ensure it is fit for the digital age and we will be launching a new nationwide addiction strategy in 2020.”
Brigid Simmonds, the head of the Betting and Gaming Council, which represents the Gambling industry, said: “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.
“The use of credit cards were previously used as a potential marker of harm which might lead to further intervention with customers.”
She added: “We will implement a ban on credit cards which adds to measures such as age verification, markers of harm and affordability checks, additional funding for research, education and treatment and new codes of conduct to protect the consumer.”
Under the new regulations, all online betting operators will have to participate in the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme and offer it to all customers from 31 March.
Adam Bradford, co-founder of the Safer Online Gambling Group, said that while the credit card ban was “welcome”, it was “not a silver bullet to solve the problem as the gambling industry still needs to improve in many areas – for instance, performing better affordability checks on players and being more careful with its advertising”.