UK Government to Review Credit Card Betting

colorful credit cards on a white background 3d illustration

The UK government is considering introducing a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling in order to tackle concerns about the gambling industry’s social responsibility.

The Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Jeremy Wright, will review gambling’s current relationship with ‘debt transactions’ and will be speaking to leaders in the gambling and retail banking sectors to discuss the problem.

According to reports in the UK press, ministers are alarmed by estimates that suggest up to one fifth of UK gambling deposits online are made through credit cards.

The DCMS has also asked the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to initiate what they describe as a ‘call for evidence’ from industry stakeholders.

This move by the DCMS comes after UK retail banks Barclays, Santander, Lloyds and RBS have announced that they will be introducing ‘gambling block’ technology across all of their online services, enabling customers to have more control over their spending. And last week the UKGC released its 2019 guidance for betting companies, which highlighted the importance of combatting criminal activity including money laundering through robust ID and credit checks.

The action of the government in this area should not come as a surprise to gambling operators. The UKGC has warned industry leadership on multiple occasions that the a review of credit transactions was likely from a government that is under increasing public and political pressure to crack down on what are seen as socially irresponsible practices in the industry.

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