The UK Gambling Commission has announced that it will be holding a twelve week consultation to investigate the use of credit cards by online gamblers. The consultation will begin in mid-August.
The idea that betting with credit cards could be banned in the UK was first put out by the UK GC in February 2019 when the commission began bringing evidence together around how and why gambling customers use credit cards. Whilst an outright ban could work to reduce problems with debt brought about by gambling, the commission is looking into ways in which gamblers could get around any ban and what should be done to mitigate this.
The UK GC says it will approach both the public and all gambling industry stakeholders during the consultation to gain further information on the following areas:
Alternative Forms of Borrowing– A ban on the use of credit cards may simply push gamblers into sourcing other forms of credit to enable them to continue you playing, like loans and overdrafts. The UKGC wants to make sure that the industry can work with financial bodies to ensure that gamblers are protected from racking up extensive debt from other borrowed money.
eWallets – A natural work around for anyone wishing to gamble with credit card funds after a ban would be to use an eWallet solution like Paypal. Here the player could simply fund their Paypal account using a credit card and then fund their casino account from Paypal. The UKGC wants to look at ways in which eWallet providers could support future regulation.
Further Evidence – In general the UKGC is seeking further information about why gamblers are using credit cards to gamble, and what benefits credit cards provide. Included in this part of the consultation would be an effort to understand how a ban would harm those who do not have a gambling problem or a risk of one.
Speaking ahead of the consultation period, the Executive Director at the Gambling Commission, Paul Hope, said: “Gambling with borrowed money is known to be a risk factor for consumers, so we think there is a need for action. This consultation will help us decide what that action should be.”