In the UK alone, there are an estimated 20 million individuals that gamble, with around 10 million of these doing so online. In the last year, of the £14 billion generated through gambling and casinos, nearly £5.36 billion of this was generated through online gambling, more specifically through sports betting, slots, poker and using casino bonuses.
With the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) implementing the ban of credit card use across all gambling firms and UK based betting websites like top10slotgames.com from customers in the United Kingdom, doubts about the future of the industry are raised.
The ban, set to come into force on 14th April 2020, arises as a means of additional protection in a bid to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable customers. It is the latest in a series of legislative movements introduced to ensure the fair operation of the UK gambling industry. The new rule comes as no surprise after 2018 statistics indicate 800,000 consumers used a credit card for gambling, of which nearly a quarter of those were classified as problem gamblers. The case of an addict, who used nine credit cards and spent thousands of pounds on online casinos, can also be used to support the ban, with her losses including £54,000 from one single gambling session.
The new ban will apply to all online and offline gambling products except lotteries that run for good causes. Identified as having the lowest problem gambling rate, lottery tickets, including the National lottery, can be brought using credit cards in supermarkets and newsagents providing they are purchased with other items.
Further, with the commission’s approval of GamStop’s self-exclusion scheme, all online gaming casinos and bookmakers that wish to operate in the UK will have to sign up by March 2020. GamStop allows individuals to voluntarily offer their details in order to block themselves from excessive gambling. This system then shares the individual’s details to prevent them from opening multiple gambling accounts elsewhere. The implementation of such measures suggests the industry appears to be tactfully tackling problem gambling.
While just 1% of the UK’s population are identified as problem gamblers, the remaining 99% of regular gamblers do so with no issues. With that said, it’s unlikely the new rule will have much impact upon bookkeepers’ profits in the long run and many UK betting sites will continue to offer multiple popular payment methods to their consumers, including debit cards and account cash deposits.
Realistically, the new legalisation is a step in the right direction and is thought to go a long way in addressing the issues of gambling addiction. However, others are reluctant to believe that this initiative alone will eliminate such issues. For addicts, well needed barriers are being in put in place to help them overcome their addiction and form healthier relationships with gambling. However, for those that enjoy gambling without these issues, such changes are unlikely to impact their gambling experience in the future.