Online gambling sites across the world have multiple banking options for their players to make deposits and withdrawals. Many of these online casinos offer players numerous e-wallets and cryptocurrencies as banking options but the traditional credit card continues to be hugely popular with players.
Credit Cards May Be Banned In The UK
Gambling with a credit card in the United Kingdom could soon become a thing of the past. As part of a betting overhaul, gamblers throughout the UK may no longer be allowed to bet using their credit cards.
The move will be discussed with the relevant operators and banking institutions at meetings which will be organized by the Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright. Concerns have been raised about customers spending significant amounts of money they don’t actually have. Up to 20 percent of gambling deposits were found to have been made via credit cards.
Britain has an estimated 9 million online gamblers, making it one of the fastest-growing online gambling markets in the world. The ban on credit card gambling is expected to hit yearly bets amounting to billions of pounds. A call for evidence will be launched in February following which a new regulation could be introduced.
Broader Crackdown
Announcing a broader crackdown on erring gambling operators, Wright said some firms are not doing enough to address problem gambling issues – and this may cost them their licenses.
High-street banks such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Lloyds and Barclays have adopted a new approach to keeping customers away from risky gambling by allowing them to switch off spending on gambling through the use of mobile applications. But Wright said credit card gambling is one area that needs to be looked into.
Labour has also previously announced it would prohibit credit card gambling and it now looks like all parties are turning up the heat to curb the rise in problem gambling stats.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been looking at plans to prohibit or restrict credit card use since last year, when it published its online review of the state of the gambling industry in the country. It also said it will review current requirements in relation to customer funds and whether dormant accounts can be better protected. The regulator also said it would look into the withdrawal of funds and whether changes should be made to enable fast and easy transactions.
UKGC Imposing Stringent Measures
The UKGC announced in 2018 proposals that would better protect children from gambling-related harm as well as ensure that vulnerable customers will not be exposed to further risks. Among the proposed changes is banning free-to-play demo games for minors, dealing with inappropriate marketing, tougher requirements for individuals exhibiting problem gambling behaviours, and conducting affordability checks and putting a cap on gambling spending.
Last year, the government announced it will be implementing a cut on the stakes for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2, which is due to come into force in April 2019. The debate on FOBTs prompted the resignation of sports minister Tracey Crouch who spearheaded the reduction policy.
The government initially planned to delay the implementation to October 2019, but decided to make a u-turn following intense pressure from Conservative MPs and campaigners who had been highlighting the tragic consequences brought about by FOBTs. The reduced stakes on FOBTs will now come into play from April 2019.
Improving Self Exclusion Schemes
The government is also keen on dealing with the slow progress in relation to the industry’s voluntary exclusion programmes, which are aimed at helping problem gamblers.
Wright said they will make an urgent demand to the gambling industry to improve its self-exclusion schemes. The full rollout of the industry’s own GamStop programme has been delayed due to some lapses and issues identified by the Gambling Commission. The regulator is concerned that individuals who use the scheme may still have access to promotional material that may entice them back to betting.
Wright said proper policing and effective implementation of these schemes should be done if the industry is really serious about helping out gambling addicts. The government is also planning to open specialist NHS gambling clinics in the near future. One such facility is already in operation and the plan is to have a number of more facilities up and running to help problem gamblers.

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