Credit Card Gambling UK India Ireland

Proof that credit card bans inside online casino frameworks prevent debt is clear. Live casino licensing in India and Ireland will follow suit (Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash)

There are new licensing frameworks for iGaming in the pipeline, and one of the major points is always ‘responsible gambling’ and how to protect players from some of the major pitfalls of gambling.

One of those pitfalls is gambling using debt – i.e., using credit cards to make a deposit to fund an online casino account.

When players lose the borrowed money, many are often left with debt they cannot pay back and high-interest rates to pay back.

New licensing in the Republic of Ireland is already strongly orientated towards responsible gambling policies and banning credit cards is already something many casinos in Ireland have already begun to implement even before the new Irish framework takes shape.

In a recent report, it seems that consumers are in line with the UKGC’s recent credit card prohibition, and any consequences are not deemed as harmful.

The April 2020 ban was imposed as a way to protect players from a range of potential harms, but with a particular focus on borrowing money. It would seem that there is a relation between gamblers who hold high debt and gamblers who used to use credit cards as a way to finance gambling habits.

The report study showed that:

  • there has been a positive response from the majority of consumers to the banning. Data shows that consumers believe banning the use of credit cards helps in restricting the consumer to only gambling what they can afford and helps them to retain control.
  • consumers gambling with borrowed money from other forms of lending is deemed as ‘stable’.
  • borrowing money illegally for the purpose of gambling has not increased.
  • gamblers who formerly used a credit card to gamble with have not taken measures to legally get past the ban, and only use funding that is available and not borrowed.
  • according to data retrieved from the bank, there was no evident money transfer increase for a three month period after the banning of credit card orders came in.
  • at a similar time to the ban, ATM cash withdrawals via credit card did not increase dramatically.

***See the credit card study stats and results here...

There has still been a low level of credit card transactions to gambling merchants, but these can be put down to certain outside activities which the ban does not cover, such as competitions and various lotteries. As further protection and support, providers of electronic money and major e-wallets have blocked any transaction related to gambling that has come from a credit card source. The report comes from a collection of data from 2,000 British adults who are aged 18 or over and was collected through the Commission’s Tracker online survey. Also, 2CV held a programme that lasted for 8 days and contributed 30 respondents.

Ireland to take note: Looking at the stats, banning online live casinos Ireland has to offer via its new licensing is about to come into effect will help prevent the current Irish casino players from getting into debt when funding live casino gaming.

Future Strategy

The conclusion to this report is that the continuous monitoring of consumer behaviour is paramount to the success of the plan. If there is to be an increase into harmful funding, then it is vital that the relevant bodies know. There will be a full evaluation regarding the credit card gambling ban, which will be conducted by NatCen Social Research. The evaluation is scheduled to be completed by early 2023.

The Gambling Commission’s Interim Chief Executive, Andrew Rhodes, stated that the protection of consumers is the centre of everything the commission stands for, and the policy is a way to reduce the harm caused by gambling. The recent findings are encouraging, and the ban can be considered a success so far. The commission is now looking forward to the report from NatCen as to the impacts it has had over a longer term, and how it can help towards future policies.

Future for India: There is still plenty of speculation in India as to when iGaming licensing will come into effect. With the global pandemic causing major internal issues in the country, any such framework is still on hold. However, right now the government is concerned about the number of people using credit cards or loans to place bets on sports and online casinos games. When the new licensing hits online live casinos India has to offer, the government will use the UKGC study to enforce a rule that prevents people from using credit cards to fund online casino and sports gambling.

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