HomeInsightsGambling Commission publishes interim evaluation report on the implementation of the ban on gambling with credit cards

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The Commission explains that the credit card ban was introduced in April 2020 to add another layer of protection for consumers and address gambling with borrowed money. Evidence revealed some gamblers with high levels of debt were using credit cards to gamble.

The report found:

  • support for the ban among consumers has been largely positive; qualitative data supports the conclusion that the ban helps people to gamble within their means and retain control;
  • the proportion of consumers reporting gambling with other forms of borrowed money has remained stable;
  • there has been no increase in reports of illegal money lending related to gambling;
  • while consumers are aware of ways to legally bypass the ban, more people who previously gambled with a credit card now gamble with available (not borrowed) funds than with borrowed money;
  • bank data showed no spike for credit card gamblers in money transfers in the three months after the ban; and
  • there was no spike in ATM withdrawals from credit cards around the time of the ban.

The report shows that a major high street bank found the volume and value of gambling transactions with credit cards has been reduced to a very low level. Continuous low-level expenditure to businesses with gambling merchant codes is explained by activities outside the scope of the ban, such as lotteries and competitions.

Further, major e-wallet and electronic money providers have blocked gambling transactions where funding originates from credit cards.

The Commission says that ongoing monitoring of behaviour is important to ensure there is no increase in harmful forms of funding gambling activity.

Further, it has commissioned NatCen Social Research to conduct a full evaluation of the ban on gambling with credit cards, which is scheduled to report in early 2023. The Commission will use these findings, along with continued monitoring, to inform future policy development. To read the Commission’s press release in full and for a link to the report, click here.