The UK Gambling Commission has announced that it will ban the use of credit cards on all gambling activities taking place in Great Britain from 14 April 2020 onwards. It has been decided that this measure will be implemented following a public consultation on this issue, that took place between August and November 2019.
Estimates show that among the 24 million active gamblers in Britain, 800,000 of them use credit cards in order to fund their accounts. UKGC conducted a research indicating that 22% of those using credit cards in order to gamble online, are considered problem gamblers.
According to the Gambling Commission’s CEO, Neil McArthur, credit card gambling may lead to serious financial harm. Thus, he stated that the ban they have announced is projected to minimise the risks of harm to individuals from gambling with money that they do not have.
Furthermore, he argued that there are several bettors who have gathered tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling, all due to credit card availability. He also added that there is evidence that the fees that are being charged by credit cards can worsen the situation, due to the fact that punters may chase their losses to a greater extent.
Nevertheless, he pointed out that the UKGC is aware of players who gamble responsibly with the use of a credit card, implying that the regulator is planning to evaluate the measure regarding this matter.
It is worth mentioning that the share prices of big UK operators have fallen significantly, since the day that it was first reported that the ban will take effect in three months from now. More specifically, the share value of GVC Holdings has dropped from £9.42 to £9.14; while Flutter Entertainment’s share price has dropped from £94 to £91.94. At the same time, William Hill’s shares decreased from £1.94 to £1.83.
It is also worth noting that the decision taken by the UKGC to ban credit card gambling has made an impact all across Europe and the Spanish authorities seem ready to follow its example.
A positive development is that the impending ban will open up the UK gambling market to innovative mobile payment solutions like Boku and Zimpler.