UKGC Explains the Reasons behind Additional Customer Protection Measures
At the beginning of the last year, the Commission reported one of the more discusses decisions made based on the comprehensive surveys regarding the gambling business in the United Kingdom. The announcement stated that gambling with the use of credit cards is outlawed. The new regulation has legal force since April 14, 2020.
The UK Gambling Commission has been doing major studies and consultations engaging all the interest groups and beneficiaries of the field to extend the security of the gamblers and save the players in the vulnerable groups from gambling-related financial and psychological issues.
Upon asserting the new restriction, the Commission also published some statistics according to which more than 1/5 of approx. 800k players who make gambling transactions via credit cards are believed to be “problematic” customers, more people are subjected to gambling-related risks. Thus, the UKGC believes that the new measures will assist in protection of gamblers at risk.
Now, the UK Gambling Commission reveals more details behind the vigorously discussed decision. First of all, we learn that the Commission conducted two sets of discussions related to the ways to resolve the credit card damage issue. The first set of consultations was about prohibiting credit card transactions and the second one explored the option of restricting gambling with credit cards. The propositions received responses from a large variety of stakeholders from local governmental organizations to NGOs, overall 128 replies.
With the assistance of relatively safe gambling organizations the UKGC managed to collect feedback (86 in total) from people receiving aid from addiction treatment institutions. 19 replies were sent to the commission from the major players in the British gambling market.
The consultations covered 4 major areas of concern for the Commission 1. Identifying the possible risks, 2. Gambling with the money the clients don’t have, 3. Gambling organizations’ obligations and pricing, 4. Usage of online payment mechanisms.
In addition to the data about “problematic” gamblers, the newly published survey results suggest that the vulnerable clients consist mostly of credit card users.
The British Gambling Commission did not conceal the fact that businesses operating in the gambling industry criticized the ban on credit cards. However, it noted that the challengers failed to address the issue of players gambling on borrowed money and accumulating a lot of debt.
The Commission representatives believe that even if the man doesn’t offer final protection from gambling-related harm it solves the issue of playing with the money gamblers do not have.
The UKGC also called attention to the fact that more than 80% of credit card users for gambling purposes didn’t know that making a payment with a credit card included additional fees as well. The Commission was intended to ban recharging gambling profiles from credit cards as well. The new regulation will also handle the pressing issue of using multiple cards and borrowing money from different banks thus accumulating even more bills.
The survey responses recommended the Commission cooperate with financial regulatory bodies and policymakers of the UK to synergize its regulations with wider financial legislations.
There is a general consensus about the role of financial services providers and their responsibility to decrease the risks of gamblers that are experiencing financial difficulties due to their playing habit. It is stressed that all the beneficiaries of the industry should cooperate to ensure that clients at risk are not being taken advantage of.