Wednesday 22 January 2020

Britain bans UK consumers from using credit cards to gamble

Britain's 24 million adult gamblers will not be able to use credit cards to gamble under a new rule. File photo
Britain's 24 million adult gamblers will not be able to use credit cards to gamble under a new rule. File photo
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Britain's 24 million adult gamblers will not be able to use credit cards to gamble under a new rule designed to prevent consumers from building up too much debt.

The UK’s Gambling Commission said on Tuesday the ban, which comes into effect on 14 April, will apply to all online and offline gambling products apart from 'non-remote lotteries' - lotteries where payment is made face-to-face.

The Commission estimates that some 7.6pc of online gamblers use credit cards to deposit funds in the UK.

Research by the commission classes 22pc of online gamblers who use credit cards as "problem gamblers".

This legislation had been expected for some time.

According to analysts at Davy Stockbrokers, the ban on credit card usage for UK gambling deposits likely represents a low-single-digit percentage risk to related gaming revenues.

This would result in a similar impact on sector earnings.

While the gaming market in the UK no longer presents the opportunities it once did, according to Michael Mitchell and Jack O’Halloran of Davy, "it remains a very large, (still) growing and highly cash generative market for online gaming operators."

"In this respect, a shift towards a more sustainable footing is necessary.

With the true growth opportunity now lying elsewhere, the priority for the industry must now be to mitigate the risk of more structural UK regulatory change over the course of the coming period."

(Additional reporting Reuters)

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