UKGC assesses ban on credit card games, more research to come


The UK Gambling Commission provided an assessment in which it marked the success of imposing a blanket ban on credit cards used for gambling purposes. With the ban in place for over a year now, the regulator was able to assess its impact and assess whether certain initial fears have materialized.

A ban that has achieved its objective

The regulator contacted via Yonder, interviewed 2,000 adults and arranged in-person meetings. All of the participants were people who had gambled in the past 12 months, a period covered by the credit card ban.

The initial results were immediately reassuring, with the UKGC citing evidence from leading banks that saw an immediate drop in the use of credit cards for gambling purposes. Banks had followed up on one more aspect. tricky part of the ban, namely ensuring that electronic wallets loaded with credit cards were also monitored for gambling-related activities.

Commenting on the latest data collected by the survey, the boss of the gambling commission André Rhodes, noted:

“The successful industry-wide implementation of the ban and the impact on consumer behavior and financial spending that we have monitored so far is an encouraging sign that the ban has reduced reliance on consumers. consumers to gamble with borrowed money. “

CEO of UKGC André Rhodes

While credit cards have been taken out of the equation, other questionable financing practices have remained, such as the use of payday loans and quick credits which usually come with higher interest rates and predatory practices on the part of the organisms that emit them.

Players stop borrowing funds, almost

Interestingly, however, the UKGC was able to find that 76% of people who gambled with borrowed funds no longer did. However, another 15% continued to borrow funds, arguing that the ban forced them to do so. Another 9% said they borrowed funds, but that wasn’t necessarily because of the ban.

The regulator has acknowledged that it should check whether players have been pressured into borrowing funds from illegal sources. A review by the Illegal Money Lending team found no such evidence, but the UKGC said it should remain vigilant.

The UKGC was unable to identify whether the credit card ban has had an impact on the black market. According to the regulator, the motivation of the individual to turn to black market options was “rarely known”.

More work needs to be done

Further, the UKGC has recognized that while the ban is a good way to prevent reckless gambling, there are some fairly well-known workarounds. In light of this, a sufficiently motivated person would find it quite easy to use the borrowed money to keep gambling.

To continue to probe the implications of the gambling credit card ban, further research will be carried out by NatCen. The NatCen survey is expected to be completed at some point in early 2023 with the UKGC using its data to help motivate its choices in future regulatory changes.

Before the ban, some 10.5 million people in the UK gambled, 800,000 of whom turned to a credit card. According to research at the time, 22% of all consumers who used a credit card to gamble were classified as problem gamblers. In October, Ireland agreed to impose its own ban on credit cards.

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