As of the 14th of April 2020, UK gamblers will no longer be able to deposit into their online gambling accounts using credit cards. A staggering 10.5 million UK residents gamble online, with 800,000 depositings via credit cards in which 22% of these consumers are classed as problem gamblers. Not only do online gamblers have issues arising from depositing via credit cards, but banks are also letting such individuals take out up to eight bank cards at once, allowing gamblers to rack up debts which cannot be paid off.
With such high figures and a rise in the number of those becoming financially unstable due to gambling, with consequences such as those losing their homes, possessions, and even worse, their family. Therefore, this law being introduced aims to bring these numbers down and make gambling in both physical and online stores like when they play at King Casino safer.
How will the online industry be affected?
The industry itself is said to experience very little change in the number of online gamblers as firstly the ban is only on UK sites. Therefore, gamblers can easily dodge this ban by accessing foreign gambling sites, those not commissioned by the Gambling Commission through VPN’s meaning that the ban is not as effective as hoped. Not only can gamblers still access foreign websites, but online casinos will continue to run as normal as customers can deposit money into their accounts in several ways, not just through a credit card deposit. Thus, customers can send money to alternative debit card accounts, allowing them to set up new ways to deposit money into their gambling accounts.
Furthermore, with 1% of gamblers in the UK being problem gamblers, the additional 99% of UK gamblers will still undoubtedly continue to deposit and gamble online contributing to the astonishing £31 billion-pound industry revenue. A concerning issue for online casinos is that they may lose some online players as those who deposit using credit cards will alternatively visit physical bookmaker stores as well as 24/7 hour open casinos situated all over the UK, consequently meaning lower revenues for online casinos but higher revenues for physical bookmakers and casinos.
As a whole, the online industry will experience little change, maybe a small drop in the number of problem gamblers who deposit via credit cards, but the number of UK gamblers will still remain extremely high, though this move of introducing new policies and laws is a positive for the gambling industry itself, reducing the number of those being exposed to financial difficulties through online gambling.