The UK Gambling Commission’s ban on credit cards comes into force today (April 14th).
The ban was announced back in January in tandem by the Commission and the Department for Culture, Media And Sport. From today, users registered at an online casino in the United Kingdom will not be able to use credit cards as a form of payment nor use credit cards to fund e-wallets for use with gambling.
In a statement shared on the UK Gambling Commission’s website, Chief Executive Neil McArthur said: ” This credit card ban will further protect customers from financial harm and from today, nobody in Great Britain can use a credit card to gamble. It is a ban which ultimately reduces the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.
“The ban also comes at a vital time as we are seeing an increase in the use of some online products, such as online slots and virtual sports, and our online search analysis shows an increase in UK consumer interest in gambling products since the lockdown began. This highlights just how important it is for gambling operators to keep people safe and the credit card ban will help that. This is another milestone and we will continue to look for ways to make gambling safer.”
The Commission claims that the ban will help protect around 10.5 million people who gamble online. Previous statics had shown that around 800,000 individuals in the UK used credit cards to gamble and that around 22% of gamers who use the payment method are classed as problem gamblers.
Meanwhile, the ban comes into effect amid the current UK COVID-19 lockdown during which many more people have begun to turn towards gambling. As a result, the Commission has issued reminders to operators across the UK over how they can help keep players safe when gambling online.
Earlier this month, Gamstop urged all gamblers struggling with addiction or those worrying about gambling-related problems to self-exclude during the lockdown. Gamstop’s plea came after the Gambling Related Harm All Party Parliamentary Group suggested the lockdown could lead to an increased number of problem gamblers.
Gamstop claimed earlier this month that it’s experienced a spike in calls from registered users looking to lift their self-exclusion ban during the lockdown before their selected period has ended to gamble again. This has sparked concern from campaigners and gambling charities and services who believe it will lead to an increased number of people suffering from gambling-related harm.