Great Britain Gambling Commission Bans Credit Cards Across the Board

Published January 17, 2020 by Lee R

Great Britain Gambling Commission Bans Credit Cards Across the Board

A key exacerbator of addiction has been stifled by an “inconvenient” ban in Great Britain.

Great Britain's non-departmental public body Gambling Commission GC has announced a blanket ban on the use of credit cards for online and land-based gambling.

The Review

Effective from the coming April 14th, the decision is a result the Commission’s review of online gambling as part of the Government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, which included a public consultation from August to November 2019.

The Exception

The only games of chance exempt from the credit card ban are “non-remote lotteries,” limited to National Lottery tickets and scratchcards purchased at approved land-based physical retail outlets.

GC CEO Speaks

GC Chief Executive Neil McArthur explained that the drastic measure prevents players from gambling with money they do not have:

“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.”

Chasing Debts

McArthur cited the widespread cases within Great Britain of consumers who accumulate debts in the tens of thousands as a direct result of credit card availability, with usage fees charged by credit card companies serving to “exacerbate” the situation by increasing the debt accrued along with the consumer’s propensity to “chase” mounting losses.

Protection Trumps Convenience

From a cost-benefit perspective, McArthur says the risk of harm to players from credit card usage far outweighs the convenience of their use for non-problem players.

Collective Effort

McArthur prioritised the need for all stakeholders to join the GC’s general efforts to reduce harm and prevent problem gambling, saying the organisation needs “to continue the work we have been doing with gambling operators and the finance industry to ensure consumers only gamble with money they can afford to spend.”


With further endorsement confirmed from government departments, the credit card ban is going to stick in Great Britain, and appears to have a good chance of spreading to other jurisdictions in the area as further regional information data is gathered.

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