UKGC's Interim Report On The Credit Card Ban

Kosta Kostadinov | Published 17 Mar 2022, 12:20 p.m.

When it comes to making sure that the gambling industry is as safe as possible, the UK Gambling Commission has been continuously monitoring the activities of all the participants, both the players and the operators. 

If you have been following our news articles lately, then you are probably aware that the Commission has been delivering some heavy fines on game providers and operators that breach the regulations. One of the most notable of these penalties was 888 UK Limited’s £9.4m, which is the third-largest in the history of UK regulations.

The Commission aims to further increase the safety of its players and it has decided to do that by banning credit cards as a viable option for gambling. 

Two years since the credit card ban

The credit card ban was first announced back at the beginning of 2020 by the Commission and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Then in April of that same year, it was put into effect, and the Commission has been monitoring the impact it has ever since. 

The ban was deemed essential after there were concerns regarding the use of borrowed money for gambling. In order to prevent this and to protect players, the DCMS decided that the ban of credit cards is something that has to be done.

The UKGC announced that a great increase was seen in online gambling in the past two years and that the ban would allow them to better monitor the activities plus it would also make it easier for operators to keep their players safe.

In addition to the Commission, NatCen Social Research has also been appointed to monitor the progress and the impact of this ban. They began their research in 2021 and their final evaluation and verdict are expected in early 2023.

The effects of the credit card ban

As we said before, the goal of the ban was to keep players safe and to enforce responsible gambling. Before the ban was implemented, it was estimated that about 22% of the players who used credit cards were categorised as “problem gamblers”. The ban would prevent these types of players to fall into debt and other gambling-related problems. 

So far, according to the UK Gambling Commission, the effects of the ban have been generally positive and it has minimised the risks for the players that used credit cards prior to its implementation. There have been no reports of any kind of illegal money lending and what’s more, the industry has also been incredibly cooperative in this regard. However, continuous monitoring and evaluation are essential.

Potential cyber security threats

On the topic of security and safety, the National Cyber Security Centre has conducted a survey recently that has produced findings that need to be looked into. Namely, it was determined securing the supply chain continues to be one of the biggest concerns. 

According to them, security checks don’t usually go beyond third parties, mainly due to the fact that it is not contractually agreed upon. This is quite concerning, as companies worry about the confidentiality of their users’ data if one of the third pirates was to be compromised.

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