Business World

Friday 17 January 2020

UK ban on credit card gambling 'won't harm' Paddy Power owner

New rules on gambling in UK. Photo: Bloomberg
New rules on gambling in UK. Photo: Bloomberg
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A decision by the UK to ban the use of credit cards for gambling is unlikely to have any material impact on Paddy Power and Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment, according to Davy Stockbrokers.

It said that less than 2pc of deposits at Flutter were from customers who exclusively used credit cards, compared with an industry range of between 5pc and 7pc.

The UK's Gambling Commission said that the ban on businesses accepting credit cards from consumers for gambling would make betting "safer and reduce the risks of consumers experiencing gambling-related harms".

The ban comes into effect on April 14.

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Of the estimated 24 million adults in Britain who gamble, 10.5 million do so online. It is believed that 800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble, with 22pc of these classed as problem gamblers.

"Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm," said Gambling Commission CEO Neil McArthur.

He said there were examples of consumers who had accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability.

Davy Stockbrokers said the ban was the latest move in a series of "more onerous regulatory changes".

"It also acts as a further reminder that the UK opportunity is no longer what it once was," the firm added.

Flutter Entertainment is in the process of acquiring Toronto-based Stars Group to create one of the world's largest gambling businesses.

Flutter has already been focusing heavily on expanding its operations in the United States.

Irish Independent

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