Gambling Ban On UK Credit Cards To Roll Out This Week?
In response to the public clamour for more accountability from UK’s licensed gambling and betting operators in light of widely perceived abuses by the industry, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is set to publish and release an important market report that should be made available to the public this week.
Industry experts and observers widely believe that the report will introduce an aggressive stance against the use of credit cards in gambling activities—which may involve imposed daily limits for betting, limiting gamblers to just one credit, or even an outright ban altogether.
The UKGC’s stringent regulations will be part of the process to reduce gambling with credit cards, an effort that began early last year.
The process culminated in a 12-week period in which the gambling regulator engaged in public dialogues with citizens and industry insiders to gather their perspectives on credit card gambling. Currently, UK gamblers are able to deposit funds into their accounts using credit cards.
With the documented rise of problem gamblers in the country in recent years, credit card gambling has taken a brunt of the blame from experts and observers. Former MP Tom Watson, Deputy Leader for the Labour Party, had made reducing credit card gambling one of his pet issues in the planned revamping of the UK’s Gambling Act, which has been in effect since the mid-2000s.
Unnamed sources have affirmed that the UKGC will indeed be recommending a set of rules that will severely limit UK gamblers’ credit card activities soon.
Private Sector Responds to Potential Ban
Licensed gambling operators and industry stakeholders have so far declined to limit credit card gambling, because they believe that doing so would only lead to problem gamblers taking more risks. This could include borrowing money from unscrupulous lenders and patronising unlicensed gambling websites. Gambling stakeholders have maintained that if the UKGC limits or bans credit card gambling, problem gamblers will not be any safer than they are now.
A number of major banks have already seized the initiative in dealing with problem gamblers, rolling out their own solutions ahead of the UKGC’s report. Halifax and HSBC has separately confirmed that they will be instituting voluntary measures for their customers to prevent them from problem gambling, such as a self-exclusion option for credit card use in gambling activities.
With this option activated, Halifax cardholders will be able to prevent themselves from making more than one deposit in 48 hours for gambling, while HSBC cardholders will be able to deposit after a 24 hour period.