UKGC consultation recommends credit card ban

The Sunday Times and The Observer newspapers have this weekend reported that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will recommend banning the use of credit cards across all online gambling verticals, publishing the findings of its regulatory consultation on credit wagering.

Expected to be published this week, the UKGC will recommend to the government a ban on all credit card transactions, as a way of stopping online gambling firms from ‘exploiting vulnerable customers’.

The UKGC’s recommendation follows a year-long consultation sanctioned by the DCMS, in which the Commission reviewed the regulatory structures and industry safeguards attached to monitoring credit-based wagering.

Last August, the UKGC opened a 12-week consultation period, in which the commission asked diverse industry stakeholders for insights and opinions on regulating credit wagering, with a credit card ban outlined as a potential governing outcome.

Further regulatory oversight had seen the House of Lords Committee research the ‘social and economic effects of gambling’, hearing of the personal experiences of former gambling addicts and their use of credit cards and access to instant loans funding their gambling habits.

The UKGC’s judgement will be of no surprise to industry leadership, who had anticipated a likely ban and called for operational and customer services teams to implement tougher requirements and monitoring of credit card transactions.

Moving forward, UK online gambling stakeholders anticipate a further year of regulatory scrutiny and further disruption, as the Conservative government commits to undertaking a review of the ‘2005 Gambling Act’ – whose legislative provisions PM Boris Johnson deemed as ‘being analogue in a digital world’.

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