UKGC Finds Credit Card Ban on Gambling Transactions Is Largely Supported by Local Customers

Daniel Williams

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) published its interim evaluation of the successful implementation of the credit card ban in the country.

According to the gambling regulatory body, the suspension of credit card use for gambling transactions is popular among local customers, and no unintended harmful effects associated with its implementation have been registered so far.

In April 2020, the UK Government officially banned credit cards from being used for gambling transactions as part of its measures to protect local consumers from gambling-related harm by stripping them of the chance to gamble with borrowed money they do not own and cannot afford to lose. As previously revealed by evidence, credit cards had often been used by gamblers with high levels of debt.

Latest Research Studied Gambling and Financial Behaviours in the UK

The UKGC monitored both gambling and financial behaviours of local consumers and found that the majority of customers largely supported the ban. Also, the country’s gambling regulatory body noted that the ban helps people to keep better control of their gambling habits as they would not be able to spend money they cannot afford to lose.

The gambling regulator reported that the proportion of customers saying they gambled by using other forms of borrowed money has remained stable. Also, no increase was detected in the illegal money lending associated with gambling services across the country.

The UK Gambling Commission further noted that customers are aware of ways to legally circumvent the credit card ban on gambling transactions but the number of people who previously used credit cards now prefer to use only available funds and not borrow money to fund their gambling habits. Also, no increase was registered in money transfers made by credit card gamblers in the three months following the ban. No increase in the ATM withdrawals from credit cards around the time of the measure was registered, too.

The latest report issued by the regulator in regard to the credit card ban shows that a major high-street bank found that the value and volume of gambling transactions with credit cards fell to a very low level. Also, major electronic money providers and e-wallets have blocked gambling transactions that are being funded with credit cards.

Results of Credit Card Ban on Gambling Transactions to Be Further Evaluated

The gambling industry watchdog of the UK has noted that it is extremely important to monitor the behaviours in order to make sure no increase in harmful gambling activity funding is registered.

That is why the Gambling Research Exchange (GREO) has commissioned NatCen Social Research to conduct a full evaluation of the credit card ban on gambling transactions as part of its programme aimed at enhancing the evaluation of safer gambling initiatives across the UK. The research is scheduled to be finalised in early 2023, with the findings set to be used by the UK Gambling Commission along with the results of its continued control and monitoring to develop future policies.

The interim CEO of the UKGC, Andrew Rhodes, has explained that ensuring qualitative customer protection is among the main goals of the gambling regulator’s work. He further noted that the credit card ban on gambling transactions had been introduced as part of the watchdog’s efforts to reduce gambling-related harm in the UK.

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.

Daniel Williams
Author: Wanda Peters