HomeInsightsGambling Commission says that protecting the safety of consumers is at the heart of the credit card gambling ban

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The Commission says the credit card ban, which came into force on 14 April 2020, will “add another vital layer of protection for consumers”.

In January 2020, the Commission and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced the ban, meaning that from 14 April any consumer who is gambling will not be able to use a credit card as payment. The ban extends to credit card gambling through e-wallets.

The Commission said it is an important step forward in protecting the 10.5 million people who gamble online from harm, with statistics showing that 800,000 individuals in the UK use credit cards to gamble. Research also highlights that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards are problem gamblers, with even more suffering some form of gambling harm.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said: “… The ban […] comes at a vital time as we are seeing an increase in the use of some online products, such as online slots and virtual sports, and our online search analysis shows an increase in UK consumer interest in gambling products since the lockdown began. This highlights just how important it is for gambling operators to keep people safe and the credit card ban will help that.”

The Commission also reminded operators that they can only accept customer payments via e-wallets if those e-wallets prevent credit card use for gambling.

The Commission says that some players may be changing their gambling habits during the Covid-19 outbreak and it has also taken steps in the past week to remind consumers of how gambling operators should be keeping them safe when gambling online (see item below).

The credit card ban follows the Commission’s review of online gambling and the Government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures. A public consultation was carried out between August and November 2019. To read the Commission’s news release in full, click here.