UK Gamblers Banned From Using Credit Cards As Of April 14th

Gamblers in the UK will be unable to use credit cards to fund their online play from April 14th this year following a ban announced this week by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC).

By: Andrew Burnett

The prohibition on credit cards being used to place bets comes after UK Government and UKGC reviews found a large percentage of such those using credit cards were ‘problem gamblers’.

Though online and land-based poker rooms are not specifically mentioned in the UKGC press release, the ban ‘will apply to all online and offline gambling products with the exception of non-remote lotteries.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, explained the reasoning behind the move: "Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have".

The figures released alongside the ban announcement claim that ‘24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those gambling online adding: ‘UK Finance estimate that 800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble.

The UK Government’s Culture Minister, Helen Whately, stated: "Whilst millions gamble responsibly, I have also met people whose lives have been turned upside down by gambling addiction. There is clear evidence of harm from consumers betting with money they do not have, so it is absolutely right that we act decisively to protect them."

Included in the new legislation will be a licence condition that all gambling operators ‘participate in the GAMSTOP scheme and offer their customers the service from 31 March.’

GAMSTOP is the UK’s national online self-exclusion service, which up until now has seen companies in the gambling sector voluntarily sign-up.

Whately endorsed the new regulatory requirement that all sites offer the GAMSTOP option, stating: "I am confident that people who have taken the significant step to opt out of gambling will be well supported, alongside a wide range of other tools.”

The National Lottery, as well as other lotteries with ‘good causes’ approaches, will remain unaffected by the new ban on credit card payments.

That, say those behind the new legislation, is partly because refusing credit card payments would place too great a burden on retailers who offer lottery products as part of a wider shopping environment.

The ban is likely to be the second huge hit to gambling operators in less than a year after the government forced Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to reduce their maximum stake £100 to just £2.

That resulted in huge profit hits in 2019 and many bookmakers have announced hundreds of high-street store closures.

Nebraska lawmakers to vote on whether to define poker as a game of skill

A Democratic Senator in Nebraska is asking the state’s lawmakers to vote on a multi-pronged bill that could see poker defined as a game of skill enshrined in state law.

Omaha Senator Justin Wayne is seeking to have poker, fantasy sports and sportsbetting reclassified from games of chance, in a move that could eventually lead to the mostly gambling-free state offering its own gambling options.

“While poker does have a random component in the cards that are dealt to participants, there is more skill than chance necessary for successful participation in a game where strategic decisions influence the other participants and, ultimately, the outcome of the game,” states Wayne in his bill.

Tax revenues are also at the heart of the argument, with reports of 80% of Nebraskans crossing into Iowa for their poker and other gambling needs.

WSOP Launch ‘Value Menu’ for summer shindig

The World Series of Poker organisers have announced a ‘Value Menu’ of bracelet events for this summer’s Vegas biggie.

This week’s announcement adds 25 events in the $400 to $1000 buy-in range to the WSOP schedule, with WSOP Vice President Jack Effel stating: “Everyone loves good value and the WSOP has continued to enhance its offering to meet the demand at these meaningful price points.”

He added: “Delivering large prize pools, new players and exciting formats are core objectives of the WSOP and these 25 events are key to meeting this mandate.”


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