Gambling is increasingly gaining popularity across the globe. There are a number of people that take part in gambling with the hope of making money out of. In the UK, the situation is not getting any better with the increase in gambling numbers. Gamblers in the UK are mostly using PayPal for transaction purposes. Online gambling, for instance, is on its peak with the lock-down situation due to the coronavirus.
To curb this rising problem at hand, the British government has announced a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling effective from April 14th.
Many do question the ban’s effect on the economy and gambling, what pushed to this ban and how does the consumer benefit from the same?
What Does Credit Card Gambling Ban Mean?
This implies that from April 14th, all businesses are not allowed to accept credit cards from consumers placing bets in the U.K.
The ban applies to any form of gambling whether online or offline but with a few exceptions of non-remote lotteries. This is the National Lottery tickets and scratch cards purchased at retail outlets in person.
The same affects credit card gambling through e-wallets. This comes with a condition from the commission that payments via e-wallets shall only be accepted if they prohibit credit card used for gambling.
Reasons for The Credit Card Gambling Ban
The commission provides reasons for the ban and particularly as a timely response to the increase in online gambling due to Covid-19 lock-down.
With the increase in the UK consumer interest in gambling products from the onset of the lock-down, the government is providing the ban as a form of regulation.
This ban also comes timely as a result of the commission’s review on online gambling. This is also reflected in the Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures Reviews and public consultation on the same.
Why The Credit Card Gambling Ban?
1) Rise Of Harm Levels With Credit Cards
According to statistics, there is a high number of online gamblers of up to 10.5 million. From this, a significant number uses credits cards for gambling remotely. The adverse effect of this is that most are gambling addicts.
There is a high fee that is applied on gamblers that are using credit cards and they hardly notice.
2) Stakeholder protection
The commission argues that this is a justified move to the stakeholders. This is with the fact that it is argued through interest rates and debt funding. The ban will reduce the risk of gamblers from getting into more debts through credit cards.
Who Benefits From The Credit Card Gambling Ban?
This a consumer protection move. The fact is that many people are spending money on gambling products to earn something more. Gambling can be addictive to the point that one is bankrupt.
Credit gambling could result from a financial drain and harm. This, therefore, is a regulatory move to protect consumers from spending money that they do not have.
There are various regulations that have been formulated to protect consumers like:
- Age verification
- Education- this is through highlighting of facilities offered by UK gambling sites that give users a chance to set a limit on how much they can spend.
- All UK gambling sites should offer a service to their users to exclude them from gambling activities from the site within a stated period.
- Monitoring of unlicensed non-gambling sites.
The other benefit of the ban is that it makes gambling safer, especially to the consumer.
Effectiveness of the Ban
The measure by the government to ban the use of credit card gambling is subject to debate. This is with the fact that gamblers in the UK are mostly using PayPal and other online deposits to fund their gambling activity. Is the ban significant in helping to reduce the overall rates of gambling problems?
Service providers, therefore, should be on the front line in supporting the government and its initiative for people to gamble safely.
It is, however, a step towards helping players to gamble safely and gambling to an amount they can afford to pay.
The ban is effective in a way that it will impose friction to the process of gambling with debt or borrowed money. The rate of financial loss, therefore, is minimized and potentially managed.
The UK government only provides regulations. It is, therefore, upon every player in the sector to take the initiative and drive the point home. Gambling responsibility starts with the individual players.