After much ado about gambling addiction in the UK, politicians lobbied for a universal ban on using credit cards in gambling transactions. The multi-year campaign led to a decision by the UK Gambling Commission to ban credit card gambling in the UK from April 2020.
Protecting Gambling Addicts
When gambling addicts have reached the end of their casino bankroll, many will throw good money after bad by going into debt. Since the easiest way to continue gambling is to use money you don’t have (credit), the UK government has seen fit to eliminate the use of credit cards in gambling.
UK legislators have been working on the credit card ban since 2017, when the former deputy leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, said his party would outlaw the practice.
The UK Gambling Commission reviewed the data and discovered that 800,000 UK gamblers used credit cards while gambling in 2018. After the data was analyzed, politicians took action to impose the credit card ban. The card prohibition applies to all online and land-based casino and gambling products. However, the credit card gambling ban won’t affect alternative payment methods like cryptocurrencies and eWallets like PayPal, which players could still fund with a credit card.
While considerable money and effort has been spent on education and rehabilitation for problem gamblers, the UK government wants to double down on their promise to curb gambling addiction by banning credit card payments. Most responsible gaming firms in the UK post information on gambling addiction services and offer self-exclusion methods, but some gambling addicts were still slipping through the cracks.
Another weak link in the chain for problem gamblers are fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT), which allow gamblers to dump huge amounts of money into them without human interaction. The government has suggested a £2 limit on FOBT wagers and special AI software to be employed on the machines. In the meantime, credit card bans will apply to all FOBT machines in the UK starting in April.
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