Gambling on credit cards to be banned from April

14 January 2020

Gambling Commission issues new ban following review into online gambling. 


People are to be banned from using credit cards to gamble from 14 April 2020, following an announcement from the Gambling Commission.

The ban will apply to all online and offline gambling products except for ‘society lotteries’ that run for good causes.

It follows the Gambling Commission’s review of online gambling and a separate Government review of gaming machines.

A total of 24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those gambling online.

UK Finance estimates that 800,000 people use credit cards to gamble.

Separate research undertaken by the Commission shows that 22% of gamblers using credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers.

The ban aims to provide a significant layer of protection to vulnerable people.

Neil McArthur, gambling commission chief executive, says: “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.

“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability.

“There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent.”

Mr McArthur highlights that although some consumers use credit cards because they were convenient, the risk of harm to others was too high to allow the use of credit cards to go on.

He continues: “We realise that this change will inconvenience those consumers who use credit cards responsibly, but we are satisfied that reducing the risk of harm to other consumers means that action must be taken.”

“But we will evaluate the ban and watch closely for any unintended circumstances for consumers,” he says.

Banks help customers fight gambling addiction

Some banks have introduced features to help you block gambling transactions.

Barclays was the first to do so at the end of 2018 by allowing customers to turn off payments to certain types of retailer, including gambling services.

The blocker can be turned on and off instantly in the Barclays banking app.

Since then banks such as HSBC and app-based bank, Monzo, have also introduced a gambling block feature which take this principle a step further.

Customer must give 48 hours’ notice in order to lift the gambling restrictions.

This adds an extra barrier against customers making impulsive gambling transactions.  

The table below rounds up the banks that offer gambling blocks and how much notice is required to lift the ban.  

Bank Card type Notice required to lift ban
Halifax Credit card and debit card 48 hours
HSBC Credit card and debit card 48 hours
Lloyds Bank Credit card and debit card 48 hours
MNBA Credit card only* 48 hours
Monzo Debit card only** 48 hours
Barclays Credit card and debit card None
NatWest Credit card only None
RBS Credit card only None
Starling Bank Debit card only** None
*debit cards not offered at the time of writing 14/01/2020
**credit cards not offered at the time of writing 14/01/2020


contactless cards

There needs to be a restriction placed on using contactless cards for gambling especially in betting shops etc.
Gamblers could be using stolen cards to gamble leading to hundreds of pounds being debited from bank account.

Gambling on credit cards to be banned from April

A bit of a farce because anybody can (1) transfer money from their credit card (incurring an additional fee, hence a more expensive bet) to a current account and use their debit card to gamble and (2) take out a Curve Debit card linked directly to their credit card (at no extra cost)

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