UKGC Enforces Credit Card Ban for Online Gambling​

Credit Cards. They've been around for decades, are the main payment method for many millions of people in the UK and on the 14th April 2020, the UK Gambling Commission made it illegal for them to be used for any online and offline gambling payments. This now means if you're playing at any online gambling site, be it casino, slot site, betting site or offline betting terminals - you won't be able to use your credit card to do so.

This decision wasn't sudden, however. There were rumours circulating late last year, when an official announcement came at the start of January 2020. The UKGC announced that it was serving several months notice to all gambling companies to get things in place: after this date, no customer may use credit cards when it came to gambling in the United Kingdom.

Why The UKGC Banned The Use of Credit Cards

uk gambling credit card ban news

There were grumbles up and down the country - not only from gambling companies who felt that the UKGC were imposing too many 'impacting' changes of late but also from punters who used credit cards as their usual funding method. Of course, it probably doesn't even need to be pointed out as to why this ban has come into effect.  The credit card gambling ban was a move by the UK Gambling Commission to protect consumers and vulnerable people from online gambling with money they didn't have. 

The Commission said it is an important step forward in protecting the 10.5 million people in the UK who gamble online from harm. The UKGC then went onto mention that research carried out show statistics that 800,000 individuals in the UK use credit cards to gamble, and 22% of them were classed as problem gamblers. 

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said in a release on the day of the ban: “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.”

Are There are Gambling Sites Which Still Accept Deposits Made With Credit Cards?

The UK gambling credit card ban covers all credit cards and even eWallets which facilitate credit card deposits. For example, if you normally deposit at casinos using an eWallet, such as PayPal, Skrill or Neteller and you would normally fund the wallet with your credit card, post-ban you'll no longer be able to fund it this way. Since debit cards do not fall under this ban (as debit cards only use the money you have in your bank balance) you can fund your account this way or via bank wire transfer, but no longer with any credit card. It doesn't matter if you're using MasterCard, Visa, Discover, Amex or Diners Card; if it's credit then it won't be allowed.

What Doesn't The Gambling Credit Card Ban Exclude?

Understandably, not much but it will still be possible to buy ‘good cause’ lottery tickets with a credit card if they are bought alongside other items in a supermarket or other shop or newsagent.  That's it. If you want to play at online casinos, bet online at betting sites, play online bingo and even buy chips at land-based casinos, you need to do it with money you have in your account with accepted payment methods including Klarna, Bitcoin, Boku and all eWallets like Paypal (with debit cards).

Problem Gambling & Credit Cards

In a move to further protect and to have better control and regulation on the UK Gambling industry, we at CasinoFans.co.uk think this ban is a positive step forward. As a UK casino review guide, whilst we write and play at casinos almost daily, we are very aware of the trouble online gambling can cause for those who have a problem and those who do not have it under control. As the age-old motto goes "only bet what you can afford" has always been said and now thanks to the ban, it's a motto that can literally be put into practice. You can only bet with the money you have as you can no longer gamble on credit in the UK

Gambling & COVID-19

The last part of this news article is one we never thought we'd be writing. Gambling and COVID-19.  8 weeks ago, there were minimal 'mumblings' about a sars like a virus spreading, but never in a million years would we believe what we're seeing around the world these days. I don't think anyone believed it would come to this pandemic.

As a result of Covid-19, the Gambling Commission added that some players may be changing their gambling habits.  During the past week, the Commission has also taken steps to remind consumers of how gambling operators should be keeping customers safe when gambling online. 

If anyone is worried about their or someone else’s gambling activity, The National Gambling Helpline provides confidential information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling problems in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information visit gamcare.org.uk or call 0808 8020 133.