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UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary to Investigate the Credit Card Gambling Ban

- January 14, 2019 By Oliver Young -

UK’s DCMS is calling for a review on gambling using credit cards by the UK Gambling Commission. Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary of State, Jeremy Wright, said that the UK Gambling Commission should thoroughly investigate credit card gambling and see if it is right for people to gamble on credit, or is it a factor that contributes to gambling addictions.

The concerns about credit card gambling have been spreading for a month now, and the DCMS has been calling for Ministers to introduce some new regulatory measures regarding wagering with credit cards. Now that the Citizen’s Advice and GambleAware have confirmed that credit significantly increases the chances of risk gamblers to gamble more than they can afford, the pressure on the ban is greater.

UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport calls for action by the UK Gambling Commission to ban credit card gambling.

UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport calls for action by the UK Gambling Commission to ban credit card gambling.

The Credit Card Gambling Ban Proposal

Earlier this month, during the annual conference of GambleAware regarding minimization of gambling-harm, the new Sports Minister Mims Davies called for action and proposed the credit card wagering ban. She stated the increasing concerns and first pondered the question of whether gambling using a credit card was a good idea and whether it should be permitted, considering the fact that credit cards enable people to spend more than they can afford. Put problem gambling into the equation, and the result is gambling addictions and harm. Davies clearly said that her priority is problem gamblers and that she won’t stop until the risk of gambling addiction is decreased.

Davies announced new regulation changes, and the government looking into credit card gambling in detail would mark the start of the government action. She warned operators that the tax increases and other previously set regulations were just the beginning. Although supporting the employment and investment on the part of the gambling industry, she reminded operators that they need to deliver early interventions and preventions and said that she wanted to see rapid progress in that area. Davies emphasized that players’ protection and the ability for problem gamblers to get easy access to self-exclusion and gambling addiction help centres should remain a priority.

In related news, in order to ensure that self-excluded gamblers never bypass the system again, the UK Gambling Commission introduced more rigorous ID verification requirements. This follows the criticism on GAMSTOP and MOSES whose systems were allegedly being bypassed by problem gamblers with relative ease.

The Consequences of the Ban on Operators

The future of gambling operators is uncertain. The gambling industry went through a lot this past year, the tax increase, updates for the ADRs, the underage problem gamblers report, the stake cut on FOBTs, and now this. The largest percentage of online gamblers are using credit cards for wagering. This is mostly due to convenience and the familiarity of using credit cards for online purchases. There are thousands of other payment methods they could use, but players always prefer credit cards over other payment options. Therefore, the online gambling industry might get another blow, considering credit cards are players’ first choice.

On the other hand, the government and the greater good will prevail. The prevention of gambling-related harm, addiction and suicides would be considerately better, since players would only have the funds they possess and can afford to lose at their disposal for gambling.

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