Credit card gambling ban comes into effect in the UK

As of today, online casino and sportsbook customers will no longer be able to fund accounts using credit cards.

The Gambling Commission’s ban on using credit cards to fund gambling activity has come into effect today (14 April) which, according to the regulator, will add a “vital layer” of protection for consumers.

The ban was announced in January by the Gambling Commission and the Government Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Credit card ban details

Now that the ban has come into effect, UK consumers will no longer be able to use credit cards for any form of gambling activity.

The credit card ban applies to all forms of online gambling as well as offline and land-based gambling. However, non-remote lotteries such as physical National Lottery tickets and scratchcard games which are purchased in-person will be exempt from the ban.

The ban also extends to using credit cards to gamble through e-wallets such as PayPal. The Commission has said that operators can only accept e-wallet payments if they prevent using credit cards to fund gambling.

The ban also covers the use of credit cards to pay for subscription services. This means that customers that use credit cards to pay for lottery subscription services will have to find another payment method.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said: “This credit card ban will further protect consumers from financial harm and from today, nobody in Great Britain can use a credit card to gamble. It is a ban which ultimately reduces the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.

“The ban also comes at a vital time as we are seeing an increase in the use of some online products, such as online slots and virtual sports, and our online search analysis shows an increase in UK consumer interest in gambling products since the lockdown began. This highlights just how important it is for gambling operators to keep people safe and the credit card ban will help that.

“This is another milestone and we will continue to look for ways to make gambling safer.”

Responsible gambling efforts in the UK

The ban on using credit cards to fund gambling in the UK forms part of the Commission’s strategy to help reduce gambling-related harms.

Last week, the Gambling Commission’s working groups announced new measures to help reduce gambling-related harm in the UK. As part of a series of voluntary reforms, gamblers under 25-years-old will be banned from joining gambling VIP schemes in the UK while those who can join the schemes will be subject to new controls.

Operator reward schemes will also be required to undergo full audit trails detailing the operator’s decision making while specifying senior management oversight and accountability.

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