UKGC Probes Credit Usage for Online Gambling

As a result of a call for evidence, the UK Gambling Commission has resolved to hold a 12 week consultation over the issue of gambling online with Credit Cards. The consultation is set to begin in Mid August this year.

The UKGC has considered banning use of Credit Cards online altogether, but will consult with the public including other stakeholders on the available options - including restricting use of credit cards for gambling.

Paul Hope, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission, said: “Gambling with borrowed money is known to be a risk factor for consumers, so we think there is a need for action. This consultation will help us decide what that action should be.”

Once the consultation is complete. The Gambling Commission will then make considerations and possibly take the best course of action. If any action is taken, it will be directly related to evidence gathered by the consultation and will also take into account data submitted to the commission on the subject.

The call for evidence, which the Commission already launched in February, provided them with several points of interest which are not limited to but include:

Alternative Forms of Credit

If the commission decides to action credit cards, there is a chance that players may turn to other forms of borrowing to funds their habits. Loans, Pay Day Loans, Overdraft Facilities and other means of credit will come into the spot light. The commission added that it was vital that the gambling industry, financial institutions and other related parties work in tandem to protect consumers from gambling with borrowed money,

Online Wallets

Online Players sometimes use different types of E-Wallets (eg. Neteller / Skrill / Paysafe) and as such, the casinos or operators have no proof of where the funds loaded into the wallet originated from. Future legislation or proposed legislation would require companies providing such services to play ball by taking action to support any regulatory measures.

More Evidence Required.

The UKGC intends to obtain more evidence regarding the benefits including any motivation the consumer might have in using credit cards to gamble. The February call for evidence brought forward very little value with regards to this.

Whilst ultimately trying to lessen the harm gambling on credit can bring, the Commission is also weary that it must take into account the effects of such a ban or restrictions on gamblers who do not fall into the category of problem gamblers.