GambleAware UK study finds 28 million without access to bank card blockers

By Owain Flanders

A new GambleAware study into the availability of bank card gambling blockers has found that around 28 million people do not have access to the safer gambling measure.

The report confirmed that the bank card blockers, which can be used to prevent a person from depositing for gambling activities, are an effective tool for combating problem gambling. This was particularly true when the blockers were used with other safer gambling tools, such as self exclusions.

Despite this, the gambling charity found that this effectiveness was minimised by the lack of availability of blockers for a significant portion of gamblers.

Research from the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Centre found that eight financial service firms currently offer blockers on certain products, covering a total of 60% of total personal current accounts in the UK.

Of these eight banks’ blockers, researchers found that three could be immediately turned on and off. The report concluded that a time-release lock was needed to increase the effectiveness of the tools.

Researchers estimated that approximately 0.5 million customers across all banks offering blockers are currently using the products.

GambleAware has suggested a string of changes to maximise the effectiveness of blockers. The charity has called on the Financial Conduct Authority to recommend that the technology be made standard for all debit and credit cards, and introduce an awareness campaign to increase consumer knowledge.

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