2020_2_evoplay.jpg
2020_2_evoplay.jpg
2020_2_evoplay.jpg
CLOSE
× Gambling News In-Depth iGaming Calendar Connections GI Friday Trafficology GI Magazine
GGA 2020 AffiliateCon
NEWS 14 January 2020

Discussion: Where does Great Britain's gambling industry go after credit card ban?

By Tim Poole

Following the Gambling Commission’s credit card gambling ban in Great Britain, the Gambling Insider editorial team reflects on the fairness of the measure and where it leaves the industry moving forward.

Owain Flanders: A regulatory shift to be welcomed with open arms

This ban on credit card gambling has been a long time coming. It isn’t often I will wholeheartedly agree with the implementation of tighter regulation within this industry, but this is one decision I can truly get behind.

For me, the existence of credit card gambling goes against the message of all responsible gambling campaigns – namely for players to only gamble what they can afford. Of course, to assume every gambler using a credit card is doing so through a lack of funds would be far from the truth; but it seems an unnecessary risk when the stakes can be so high.

For those 22% of credit card gamblers thought to be problem gamblers, a blanket ban removes a means of placing themselves in immediate debt. Meanwhile, for those using credit cards for convenience, it simply means adding a debit card to their betting account.

There is no doubt operators will receive their fair share of complaints from customers who have used credit cards for years; but it seems a minor and worthy sacrifice given the circumstances. At a time when UK operators are receiving criticism from a number of sources, this is one regulatory shift that should be welcomed with open arms.

Tim Poole: A fair ban – but a sign of things to come?

Anyone who knows me well will know I can argue all day long; my main counterargument here would be the lack of scrutiny for the use of credit cards elsewhere. Has anyone looked into clothes shoppers and the amount of debt they run up using credit cards? If credit card gambling is banned, I would suggest it’s not illogical to discuss the issue of banning credit cards altogether. But such is the scorn with which gambling is viewed within Great Britain – and the moral objections people have with gambling overall – our industry is of course singled out.

Overall however, I would agree this is a fair policy, which appears to have been subject to great attention to detail from the Gambling Commission. The thought of gambling with a credit card would never even enter my mind from a personal basis and the chances of doing so responsibly are admittedly slimmer through the use of credit.

Déjà vu: the problem for the industry now is where it goes from here. The Commission took the most punitive measure available by banning credit card gambling outright. Is this a sign of things to come with regards to gambling advertising, gambling sponsorship and online gambling stakes?

Aidan Williams: One fight the industry could do without fighting

This is one fight the gambling industry could do with not fighting and this announcement should be welcomed. There are a lot of battles worth fighting, don’t get me wrong; 32Red should not have garnered the criticism it did for its problem gambling campaign, nor did Bet365 deserve the criticism it received last week for streaming rights. But if this fight isn’t fought, it will be a real positive.

I do not see how the industry can reasonably argue against this development, as any resistance would be out of fear of lowering profits, which when it comes to gambling and public perception, actually shouldn’t be the bottom line.

Personally, I think the past week has been a relief for gambling, even if operators might think differently. The handling of the aforementioned Bet365 controversy was dealt with in a manner that was above and beyond what was fair, given the circumstances; and if no companies fight this development it will be another quietly big victory for the industry from a PR point of view.

It isn’t that clear what, if anything, will happen to the industry in Great Britain following last month’s General Election, but recent responses would be a feather in any industry’s cap.

Iqbal Johal: Arguably the biggest measure introduced to fight problem gambling

In the age of tighter restriction on the industry, the credit card ban doesn’t come as a surprise. Not only has there been strong talk of the ban being implemented for at least the past year, plenty of other measures have been introduced to deal with the wider issue of problem gambling.

This includes the introduction of stronger rules relating to age verification, tighter anti-money-laundering measures, flagging up unusual customer behaviour, advertising restrictions, mandatory charity contributions and the announcement all online operators must now participate in Gamstop’s self-exclusion scheme.

At a time of ever-increasing scrutiny from politicians and the public, which portrays gambling in Great Britain in a negative light, at least operators too have introduced their own voluntary measures to go with mandatory regulations. This includes the whistle-to-whistle ad ban introduced last summer; five of the biggest operators – GVC Holdings, William Hill, Bet365, Flutter Entertainment & Sky Bet – have also committed to increase the voluntary levy on gross gambling yield to 1% from 0.1%, raising an estimated £60m ($77.9m) a year to help combat problem gambling.

In these situations, such as the credit card ban, it’s the most responsible players that are hit the hardest. But it’s arguably the biggest measure introduced to date to fight problem gambling, so has to be welcomed. Despite all these recent regulatory and voluntary restrictions coming into force, time will tell if it’s enough to keep the vultures from circling.

RELATED TAGS: Online | Legal & Regulatory | Feature
DISCUSS THIS ARTICLE
2019_42_enteractive.gif
GI FRIDAY: WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
THE GI HUDDLE PODCAST
NEW! #006 - LISTEN NOW
Gaming Industry Conferences (22:37)
#005 - LISTEN NOW
The role of gambling media (27:11)
#004 - LISTEN NOW
What is the role of a Gambling regulator? (29:09)
#003
The Future of Gambling Sponsorship in Sport (30:50)
ANALYSIS
MUST READ
IN-DEPTH 23 January 2020
A glass half full
READ MORE

PREMIUM CONNECTIONS
Digital Isle of Man
Legal and Jurisdictions
Digital Isle of Man is responsible for the thriving Digital sector in the Isle of Man, spanning the Island's international ...
BetConstruct
Systems and Software
BetConstruct is a global award-winning technology and services provider for online and land-based gaming industry. BetConstruct's innovative and proven offerings ...
Global Gaming Awards
Industry Awards
The Global Gaming Awards London recognise the most innovative companies and individuals of the gaming world. The Awards are powered ...
NSoft
Systems and Software
NSoft is an award - winning internationally recognized software solutions provider for betting industry. The company has more than 200 employees ...
ActiveWins
PR and Marketing
ActiveWin has ripped up the rulebook on the traditional agency prototype. Our model is based on performance - as you ...
BBIN
Systems and Software
The Leading iGaming Software Supplier in Asia
1xPartners
Affiliate
1xPartners is the innovative and exciting affiliate program offered by 1xBet, one of the world's leading sportsbooks and casinos. Offering ...
Newgioco Group
Systems and Software
Newgioco Group, Inc. (OTCQB:NWGI) is a premier leisure betting technology company providing regulated online and land-based gaming and sports ...
Efbet
Systems and Software
We have partnered up with deVRealm in a joint venture for the development of new gambling technology platforms. The primary ...
Zimpler
Payments
Zimpler provides a complete In and Out payment solution for online services. That means we take care of identifying the ...