Although they are trying their best, those wielding UK Gambling payment-blocking tools leave room for improvement.
It is all about responsible gambling and preventing the use of bank cards. In fact, the GambleAware charity issued a report titled A Blueprint for Bank Card Gambling Blockers, in cooperation with the University of Bristol, on the growing trend of using a debit or credit card to access products carrying a gambling-related Merchant Category Code (MCC).
What are they doing about it? They are exposing the problem with financial service firms and the need for blocking tools.
It is getting better as eight of them are using these tools, but it doesn’t cover the gamut of offenders.
It is instructive to note that each of the roughly 500k Britons who have engaged blocking tools to date prevent an average of two to three gambling transactions each month. Actually, it comes to a whopping 390k and 585k total transactions blocked per month.
Problem gamblers per the report spent 70% less or no money as a result of the blockers. But at least three banks have allowed customers to switch them off.
Now what? Something must be done to improve the tools such as time-release locks and activating a permanent block.
Other suggested improvements include setting gambling spending limits and limiting gambling transactions to specific times of the day. Customers who’ve activated blockers should have the option to impose limits on ATM cash withdrawals. Special software comes into play to block certain operators via phone or computer. The study calls this “the self-exclusion triangle.”
Much can be done on all fronts. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has banned its licensees from Saudi Arabia accepting e-wallet deposits funded by credit cards alth9ugh debit card deposits remain legitimate.
Payment blockers must go public. 43% of survey participants – including many undergoing excessive gambling treatment – were unaware of these tools.
The research took place between July 2019 and March 2020 by GambleAware. Of note, the UKGC banned licensees from Saudi Arabia accepting deposits via credit cards only recently in April, so the data in the report pertains solely to debit cards.
However, the study suggests that gambling blocks should continue for credit cards.