Credit Card Gambling Ban
The credit card gambling ban in the UK came a few months ago and is still in effect for all operators licensed by the UKGC. Back in 2020, the gambling commission introduced new laws that banned the use of credit cards, a traditional online payment method, in UK licensed casinos.
Since the ban, UK gambling sites can’t accept credit cards for deposits or withdrawals. This leaves players with eWallets, debit cards, and other banking methods. Here’s an overview of the credit card ban in UK casinos, its pros, drawbacks, and answers to some of the popular questions we get from punters.
Gambling with Credit Card in the UK
Credit cards were some of the most popular payment methods in UK casino sites until the option was banned in 2020. Essentially, credit card casinos and credit card betting sites allow players to make deposits using any valid card. Most platforms accept popular VISA, MasterCard and Maestro payments. Although these options are convenient for players, they aren’t safe for problem players.
Credit cards offer users money they don’t have yet. Unfortunately, allowing players to gamble money they don’t have can put them in a hard financial situation. According to reports from the UK Gambling Commission, about 24 million people in Great Britain gambled, and up to 800,000 used credit cards, in 2018. A study also indicated that 22% of players who used credit cards were problem gamblers.
Since the introduction of the credit card ban, all UKGC licensed gambling operators have been barred from accepting deposits made using UK cards. Everyone seems to support the ban, which is another restriction imposed on the merit of consumer protection. The aim is to prevent problem players from getting into unnecessary debt by exceeding their credit limits.
The new laws had one exception for the National Lottery, so players can still purchase lottery tickets using their credit cards. According to the commission, it would be difficult for retailers to separate lottery tickets sold in grocery stores and newsagents. However, that’s as far as it goes. All other forms of gambling are banned from credit cards.
Like most UKGC laws, these regulations only apply to UK operators. Players can still use credit cards on offshore sites. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only way around the credit card ban, as casinos accept various payment methods, including prepaid cards that can be purchased using credit cards. Even so, the ban means UK gambling operators can no longer accept deposits and withdrawals made using credit cards.
Pros of Credit Card Ban
There are multiple reasons why credit cards were banned from UK casinos. The obvious one is to protect problem players with compulsive gambling habits. Some players sign up for different credit cards and exceed limits satisfying their gambling addiction. Other pros of the credit card ban include:
- Protecting player interest. Up to 22% of credit card gamblers are problem gamblers, which is a considerable number.
- Prevents players from accumulating debt towards their bank cards because they are gambling with money they don’t have.
Cons of Credit Card Ban
Although the credit card ban has many advantages, pundits have found many drawbacks. Players still have access to standalone casinos that welcome players in the UK and accept credit cards. If you are determined to play with your credit card, several offshore sites accept VISA, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express and many other cards. Also, players can use their cards to purchase cryptocurrency or prepaid cards, such as the Paysafecard, which are accepted as casino deposit methods. With such options, the ban does little to help players with a gambling disorder.
UK Credit Card Gambling Ban FAQs
Why was credit card gambling banned?
The main reason why credit card gambling was banned is that the UK Gambling Commission conducted studies into the industry and found out that many players were affected. According to the commission, the drive behind the ban was to prevent players from exhausting their credit limits on UK casino games.
Are there any casinos that accept credit cards?
Yes. Many European casino sites accept credit cards. Only UKGC licensed operators no longer accept the payment option. However, no rule bars UK players from joining offshore websites and there are many European online casinos where you can pay using credit cards. Most are independent casinos and international brands licensed outside the UK.
Is it legal to use credit cards for gambling?
Yes, UK players don’t have any restrictions that prevent them from using credit cards. It is the operators that are banned from accepting such payments. Also, UK players can join any casino, including offshore websites that don’t follow rules from the UK commission. You won’t be breaking any law for using credit cards to gamble.
Why do some casinos still accept credit cards?
All casinos licensed by the UKGC stopped accepting credit card payments and face fines if found breaking compliance. However, many sites don’t follow the UKGC restrictions because they are licensed offshore in Curacao, Sweden, Malta, Alderney, and other regions. They aren’t obliged to follow all restrictions from the UK Gambling Commission.