UK credit card gambling ban comes into effect

14 April 2020

The GB Gambling Commission's ban on using credit cards to fund gambling has come into effect today (14 April), with the regulator hailing its implementation as particularly timely as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.

Announced in January by the GC and the government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the ban means UK consumers will no longer be able to use credit cards for any form of gambling.

The ban applies to all online and offline gambling products, with the exception of non-remote lotteries, including products such as physical National Lottery tickets and scratchcards purchased in-person at retail outlets.

The new ban also covers credit card gambling through e-wallets, while the Commission reminded operators that they can only accept customer payments via e-wallets only if they prevent credit card use for gambling.

“This credit card ban will further protect consumers from financial harm and from today, nobody in Great Britain can use a credit card to gamble,” Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur said. “It is a ban which ultimately reduces the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.

“The ban also comes at a vital time as we are seeing an increase in the use of some online products, such as online slots and virtual sports, and our online search analysis shows an increase in UK consumer interest in gambling products since the lockdown began.

“This is another milestone and we will continue to look for ways to make gambling safer.”

The decision to implement the ban comes after the Commission’s review of online gambling and the government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, while a public consultation on the issue ran from August to November 2019.

Jake Pollard analysed the impact of the ban on the industry and problem gambling rates in a piece for iGB, published in March.