Credit Card Restrictions Likely for UK Online Gambling

  • UKGC launching a consultation on the issue, requesting public feedback via an online survey
  • Commission looking at evidence on the use and misuse of credit cards in online gambling
  • Efforts to protect customers and gambling addicts considered a priority
  • Ways to prevent workarounds for credit card usage by gamblers being discussed
dice, credit cards, and coins on laptop keyboard
The UK Gambling Commission is looking at implementing restrictions on the use of credit cards in online gambling. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Possible upcoming restrictions

It appears that some type of restrictions will be put in place by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) on the use of credit cards to deposit funds to online gambling accounts.

The commission is currently looking at research relating to the use and misuse of credit cards in online gambling. It is conducting a survey on the issue and is now planning to have an open consultation on the topic. Those interested can participate in the survey here.

The UKGC feels that using credit cards is not good for society

The commission plans to get in touch with more gamblers who are using credit cards for online gambling, and who believe there should not be any restrictions or a total ban on their use as a deposit method.

The UKGC feels that using credit cards, which in basic terms is borrowing money to gamble, is not good for society. It can be easy for people to rack up significant debts by doing so. 

Problems with credit cards

Credit cards are extremely easy to use when it comes to remote gambling. The commission has seen how the use of credit cards can magnify the problems of those struggling with gambling addiction.

The UKGC has said it is convinced that there are significant risks and harms associated with the use of credit cards in online gambling, and that it wants to do its best to protect customers. 

Plans in discussion

The commission also spoke about its plans to take action in this regard: “We are therefore now consulting specifically on two separate options of either banning or restricting the use of credit cards for all forms of remote gambling i.e. betting, gaming and lotteries.”

two separate options of either banning or restricting the use of credit cards

The chief regulator at the UKGC did clarify that there will not definitely be any restrictions or a total ban on the use of credit cards. However, they will be looking at all of the available evidence and feedback on the issue to identify the most appropriate course of action. 

Potential roadblock

One major issue that the UKGC is looking at is potential workarounds to any restrictions or bans on credit cards for online gambling. These may include using a credit card to fund an e-wallet, such as Skrill or Neteller, in turn funding an online gambling account. 

The main method to prevent this from happening would be to also implement a ban on operators accepting e-wallets as a form of deposit. This is unless the e-wallet providers can guarantee that funds deposited via credit cards cannot then be transferred to an online gambling site. 

Alternatively, in the case of restrictions on the amount one can deposit via credit card, such limits will be imposed by the e-wallets themselves.

The UKGC is planning to speak with the e-wallet providers about such potential issues during the consultation period.