Players in the United Kingdom will no longer be able to use credit cards to make payments at gambling websites and physical retail premises. The ban comes into force on April 14th 2020, in the hopes of safeguarding vulnerable players.
The ban comes through after much thought and deliberation by the Gambling Commission. A public consultation was carried out last year, as the Gambling Commission continues to look out for the safety of gamblers.
The online gambling industry has made gambling more accessible to all players, with many casinos offering their services on mobile. This has led to an increase of people gambling online. The Gambling Commission worries that this ease of accessibility leads to a rise in problem gambling, so they continuously look at new measures to protect players and encourage responsible gaming.
The new credit card ban has the player in mind. Although some banks do blacklist gambling through the use of credit cards, the Gambling Commission felt that this was not enough. Research from the Gambling Commission shows that 22% of players who use credit cards online are problem gamblers.
The chief executive of the Gambling Commission, Neil McArthur, welcomes the new law. He 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”.
Problem gamblers can rake up thousands of pounds of debt with added interest to pay on top of that. Credit cards only exacerbate debt, leading to a sense of hopelessness for many people struggling with a gambling addiction. Some players even relapse in an attempt to chase their losses to try and pay their debts back.
Although there are plenty of safe alternative payment methods, there is a worry that consumers will find harmful ways to continue gambling, such as taking out payday loans. The Gambling Commission assures that it will continue to monitor the situation for unintended consequences.
Impact on Operators
As UK measures continue to get stricter, UK gambling companies are looking at new ways to continue operating both profitably and legally.
Operators have not been best pleased with the UK credit card ban. Credit cards help operators keep in line with other Gambling Commission measures. They are used as an age verification tool and even allow responsible gaming inspections. Although there are other ways to carry out these verification and identity checks, to not breach their licence, operators will need to ensure they prepare sufficient measures in time
Shareholders will be wary of the new law. Shares from the biggest UK casino companies plummeted within hours when the announcement was made. William Hill Plc shares dropped by 5.3%, whilst GVC Holdings Plc fell 3.8%. They quickly recovered and only time will tell how this new law will affect their business in the long run.
Alternative Payment Options for UK Players
About 800,000 players use credit cards to deposit online. It is clear that these new measures will affect many players. Some players have already criticised the ban as it adds more inconvenience. However, a credit card is one of many payment options available to use at online casino and betting sites. There are other alternative payment methods so that you can play safely without using a credit card.
Besides these, there are plenty of other options. Paypal has been a popular payment method in the UK for many years. It has gained the trust of many due to its safety and convenience. There’s no need to type your bank account number each time you deposit as these details are saved on your account. Other alternative e-wallet providers include Trustly and Skrill.
These payment methods are available at most casino brands. Be sure to check the FAQ page or contact customer support to find out all the available payment options for your preferred casino. You’ll still be able to enjoy playing all your favourite games, whilst ensuring all players in the UK remain safe.