Credit Cards Won’t Be Accepted For Gambling In The UK After April 2020
16 Jan 2020
Approx Reading time: 2 minutes
- A recent ban implemented by the government in the UK has disallowed the use of credit cards for the purpose of gambling after the 14th of April, 2020.
- The ban is meant to protect credit card holders from acquiring too much debt through gambling.
The ban would be implemented on the business end, whereby businesses would no longer be able to accept credit card payments from customers wishing to place bets, according to details reported by the Gambling Commission of Britain.
This ban does not include tickets sold for the National Lottery but applies to all other forms of betting and gambling. According to the Commission, the National Lottery tickets have not been included in the ban due to their wide availability and presence in retail outlets as many retailers would face a challenge discerning lottery tickets when accepting credit card payments.
The government had been reviewing both the state of online gambling practices and also the performance of the gambling industry in fulfilling its social responsibility. As per reports, this ban has come as a consequence of these reviews.
Gambling is very popular in the UK, with 24 million adults indulging in the activity in 2018 alone, according to data provided by the Gambling Commission. That same year, around 800,000 UK citizens paid for their bets through credit cards.
According to Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission’s CEO, credit cards can lead to financial turmoil if used improperly, and gambling with a credit card, essentially with money that one does not have, increases the risk of long-term financial harm for the user.
McArthur also noted that 22% of gamblers using online gambling platforms have faced problems due to gambling in the past. According to him, evidence exists of credit card users who have accumulated thousands of pounds in debt due to gambling, and hence the ban can protect gamblers with credit cards from acquiring unnecessary debt in the future.
The Betting and Gaming Council, which has representation from around 9 out of every ten gambling establishments in the country, has also welcomed the ban. According to its chairperson, Brigid Simmonds, additional measures are also being taken to encourage a safer environment in the gambling sector, such as verification of a gambler’s age, affordability checks, more research funding, and updated codes to regulate and encourage responsible conduct.
The gambling industry is highly lucrative in the UK, having brought in a cumulative £14.4 billion during 2018-2019 alone. Also, in 2019, the CEO with the highest paycheck in the country also belonged to the betting industry; the founder and CEO of Bet365, Denise Coates, who was paid a massive $422 million for her services.