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Consultation response

Changes to licence conditions and codes of practice on the use of credit cards for gambling

Consultation response January 2020

Consultation proposals and background

In March 2018 we published our Review of online gambling (opens in a new tab). The review was informed by advice from the former Responsible Gambling Strategy Board1 (RGSB) which noted that gambling with borrowed money, including with a credit card, is a well-established risk factor for harmful gambling as it significantly increases the risk that consumers will gamble with more money than they can afford.

We outlined our support for the principle that consumers should not gamble with money they do not have. We said we would consider restricting or prohibiting the use of credit cards for gambling, but that we would explore the consequences of doing so.

We held a call for evidence on gambling with credit cards between February and May 2019, to help us develop our understanding of the issues. As part of this exercise we received information from a range of stakeholders including gambling operators and financial institutions, debt relief charities and consumers.

The data gathered from that exercise persuaded us that there are risks of harm associated with using credit cards for online gambling and that we needed to act to protect consumers. We therefore consulted specifically on two separate options of either banning or restricting the use of credit cards. The consultation ran from 14 August to 6 November 2019.

We received 128 written responses to that consultation from the following categories of respondents:

  • Consumers with experience of harm from credit card gambling – 21
  • Members of the public – 29
  • Charitable and third sector organisations - 7
  • High street or racecourse bookmakers - 13
  • Society lotteries - 12
  • Remote betting and gaming operators - 14
  • Gambling industry trade bodies – 5
  • Financial service providers including electronic money institutions and finance sector trade bodies - 8
  • Local licensing authorities and the Local Government Association – 4
  • Others including academics, faith groups, gambling industry consultants, and employees of the non-remote casino industry- 15.

In addition, Gamcare and the Gordon Moody Association, which provide treatment services for those experiencing gambling-related harms, coordinated and submitted responses from 71 and 15 individual treatment service users respectively.

During the consultation we also engaged with e-wallet providers and card payment processors. Further research on credit card gambling and the motivations for using them was conducted by 2CV and through our participation tracker survey. We published a podcast on our website to explain the proposals and encourage consumer responses.

You are able to read the details of the responses we received to the consultation questions, along with the Commission’s position in view of those responses.

References

1Refocused on 2019 as the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG)

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