The United Kingdom’s government through the UK Gambling Commission, the country’s gambling watchdog, has recently announced that gambling operators in the country will no longer be allowed to accept credit cards as a means of payment from gamblers. When it is finally enforced about three months from now, gamblers will lose the ability to use credit cards at both retail and online gambling facilities. The only exception, for now, is the National Lottery tickets which are sold over-the-counter by newsagents and grocery stores in the country.
Before settling on the decision to ban the use of credit cards in gambling, the gaming regulator conducted and commissioned several studies in order to fully understand the issue. The most recent one was a 12-week consultation that involved the members of the public as well as various stakeholders of the country’s gaming industry.
After the consultation ended in November, the gambling commission was able to compile a report that not only highlighted the findings of their studies but also set some new terms for gaming operators. Aside from the decree that credit cards will no longer be used to fund gambling activities, the commission also requires that all gaming operators in the country register as members of GamStop.
Will It Work?
Well, it might be too early to tell how everything will turn out especially with regards to the overall goal of the gambling commission to reduce or even eradicate problem gambling. The CEO of the UKGC has pointed out that there is significant evidence that credit cards significantly increase the risk of people getting into serious financial harm by using borrowed funds for gambling. That said, it seems that they are assuming that the move to ban the use of credit cards will be the ultimate fix to that problem. Unfortunately, this might not be the case.
A number of parties have warned that it might lead to the emergence of “unregulated and unlicensed operators that offer credit card gambling” outside of the country’s regulatory jurisdiction. Furthermore, it will not be surprising if the gamblers instead opt to withdraw the funds and then use them at betting shops.
Clearly, there is still a lot that needs to be done to ensure the measure is as effective as possible. Campaigners are hoping a of attention will be paid to the review of the Gambling Act as it will hopefully help to strengthen all of the attempts that the gaming regulator has made when it comes to cleaning up the country’s gambling industry.