UK Gambling Commission to Ban Online Credit Card Bets

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The UK Gambling Commission is preparing to ban bookmakers from taking credit card deposits for betting online, in the latest move to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable customers. It comes two years after charity groups such as GambleAware and Citizens Advice urged the government to implement the policy to protect people from sliding into gambling addiction.

Major betting websites including Betfair, PokerStars, 888 and Bet365 all currently allow their customers to make deposits online using credit cards, which has led to warnings from campaigners that gamblers risk racking up huge debts.

The regulator is expected to unveil a full ban on credit cards being used for online gambling accounts. Customers will be limited to using their debit cards to prevent them from overextending themselves. The consultation that led to the commission’s decision includes e-wallets, indicating that payment services such as PayPal will probably be included in the ban.

UKGC is also planning to announce that membership of GamStop will become a condition of online casinos’ licence to operate. GamStop allows people who want to block themselves from gambling voluntarily to give their details, which are then shared to prevent them from opening new accounts elsewhere.