From 14 April 2020 the UK Gambling Commission will introduce legislation that will ban users of online gambling sites within the UK from using credit cards to pay for online bets.
Online gambling is big business in the UK, with approximately 36.6 million registered online users and UK gambling generating £14.4 billion in the year between 2018-2019. However, estimates from UK Finance, the trade body which monitors and regulates banks and the finance industry, suggest that 800,000 of those consumers use credit cards to gamble. Of those 800,00 individuals, 22% are believed to be problem gamblers. This means that the vast majority of gamblers in the UK are gambling sensibly and enjoying it as a fun pastime. However, the aim of the legislation is to protect those individuals who are most at risk from sliding into addiction. The legislation will impact websites offering online poker, slots,
and table games online.
Neil McArthur, the Gambling Commission’s chief executive, said: “Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.”
Online Gambling by Numbers
Online gambling in the UK is big business: it’s one of the most popular leisure activities in the country, largely because it can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. Of the £14.4 billion generated from the UK gambling industry last year, £5.3 billion came from online gambling or gambling in a remote location. There are 102,782 employees in the British gambling industry, and their responsibility is tonsure that gaming is not only fun but that it is also safe. The stringent regulation of the industry, due in no short part to the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, means that the risk of fraud or malpractice have been dramatically reduced, which has only increased the number of people who are taking part in online gambling on a regular basis.
The online gambling industry is only due to grow throughout 2020. There are a myriad of factors that will contribute to this prediction, including the high rate of global internet adoption and exciting new technologies in the online gambling industry. The advent of group gaming, live gaming with a real time croupier, and other exciting innovations mean that individuals who might traditionally not enjoy online gaming will turn to it. Online gambling has also enabled the growth of sports betting, with fans from around the globe now able to place bets on all manner of sporting events from across the world.
The changes surrounding the use of credit cards in the UK online gambling industry may have small financial impact on the online gambling industry in the country, but ultimately that are intended to have positive social benefits. Ensuring that people are unable to bet with money that they don’t have and that when the fun stops, they stop.