The credit card ban on gambling came into effect this week, and whilst most acknowledge its good intent, its impact in an ever-evolving payments environment might dissipate as purchasing options go helter-skelter. Payment provider PXP Financial examined the initiative.
PXP Financial has labelled the recently enacted ban by the Gambling Commission and the Department for DCMS on credit card gambling payments as “overrated.”
Though the payment solutions provider hailed the move, which came into force on 14 April, as “a good approach,” it noted a recent study revealed debit cards to be more popular.
“The credit card ban is overrated,” PXP Financial spokesperson Kamran Hedjri told Gambling Insider. “There is a sense in the industry cards used are not predominantly credit cards; a lot of them are debit cards.”
“The credit card ban will make a difference, but customers will divert to alternative solutions such as bank transfers and so on. There’s only a small amount of cards that are actually credit cards.”
PXP Financial undertook a survey at ICE 2020 which saw 59 percent of those aged between 40 and 55 state they used credit cards to gamble, however, those aged 25 to 35 preferred debit cards, with 53 percent of all respondents using debit and mobile wallets as their primary payment method.
“The customers have got a way to find a solution that they don’t use a credit card,” said Hedjri. “They can use other means that are more fit for purpose for a regulatory framework.”
Statistics published by the Gambling Commission state 800,000 of the 10.5 million online gamblers in the UK do so using credit cards, adding that 22 percent of those betting using credit are problem gamblers.
McArthur: Credit card ban comes “at vital time”
The Gambling Commission chief has stated the 14 April ban on using credit cards to gamble online has come at a “vital time” during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Hailing the move as “another milestone,” Neil McArthur noted movement restriction measures are seeing online gaming demand increase significantly. “We are seeing an increase in the use of some online products, such as online slots and virtual sports,” said McArthur. “Our online search analysis shows an increase in UK consumer interest in gambling products since the lockdown began.”
“This highlights just how important it is for gambling operators to keep people safe and the credit card ban will help that.”
The commission urged operators to be aware of changing gambling habits among players during the pandemic, and reminded players of the measures operators have put in place to protect them.
“We will continue to look for ways to make gambling safer,” added McArthur.