HSBC extends gambling block period

Cvetanka Cvetanovska | Published 22 Jan 2021, 12:42 p.m.

The British representative of HSBC, one of the largest banking and financial service institutions worldwide, has announced that they will extend the cooling-off period for the gambling block feature from 24 hrs to 72 hrs. When switched on, this self-restriction option will automatically decline any iGaming transactions in the next three days.

Better management of gambling behaviour

HSBC UK said that the main reason for extending the block period was the UKGC data from October 2020. The insights clearly showed that the number of online bet placements and active accounts was on the rise, as many people are working, have returned to working from home or face financial challenges. By increasing the restriction to 72 hours, players will have enough time to pause before they’re tempted to place bets and return to online casino games.

The gambling transaction block was first introduced in 2019, and it’s a tool that players can use if they feel that they need greater control over their betting transactions. This tool is ideally used and combined with other practical tools such as self-exclusion, software blockages or special customer support. This tool is available to HSBC UK customers who can activate through the mobile app, via telephone or the nearest branch office. Many insights, including those highlighted by The University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre, point out that these moves will further measure other blocking tools’ success rates. Moreover, this prevents them from being turned off in the possible urge to play casino games.

GambleAware points to changes in deposit limit options

GambleAware, a non-profit organisation that helps raise awareness of problem gambling behaviour, has found out that by removing the industry settings for deposit limits, players reduce the amount they set for themselves by up to 46%.

These insights were a result of research involving more than 1,000 players and their behaviour online. This research analysed whether changes and tweaks on sign-up processes would impact players’ playing habits. This is nothing new for this organisation, as they’ve previously initiated a few campaigns to tackle problem gambling behaviour.

They had the option to sign up to three separate deposit limit options:

  1.  No changes, meaning players could use the current deposit limit setting tool;  
  2.  Dropdown menu which displayed low-value deposit suggestions with a limit of £250, and a text box where players could   type a higher amount;
  3.  No displayed deposit limit options, meaning there was only a blank text box where players could type their preferred deposit limit.

Researchers found out that players almost halved the average daily deposit limit when there was no deposit limit option set. A representative from the BIT consumer markets and business team said that these minor changes show big value and further will deliver large benefits to players who play online, without interfering in their choice. Furthermore, it provides practical options for gambling operators to review their strategies to protect consumers from harm.

GambleAware has shared these insights with the UKGC to note that more research will be required to anchor other gambling elements. A few months ago, we reported that the UKGC confirmed credit card ban to payments made by money service businesses such as e-wallets. Before accepting payments via MSB, all operators must ensure that the customers cannot fund their e-wallets and accounts.  

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