During the last decade, the UK gambling market experienced rapid development as technology and the internet spearheaded massive growth in online gaming.
However, this happened around the same time when gambling became much of a problem for certain users causing the UK Gambling Commission to create new regulations to tackle the problem in 2019.
The UKGC is the major regulator for the gambling industry in the UK and one of its objectives is to ensure that gamblers are kept safe when gambling and protected against the gambling problem. This has influenced its decision to introduce certain restrictions in recent years and even though they’re good, aren’t embraced by all.
One of the prominent changes was the ban on the usage of credit cards for gambling purposes.
Gamblers who feel comfortable with their betting habits have now resorted to searching for non-GamStop-casinos for their activities.
This article will consider why such a decision was made by the authorities and what available options for the average UK gambler.
Why Was Credit Card Banned By The Authorities?
That’s an important question to ask considering this is an era where gambling is more accessible than it has ever been. Well, credit cards weren’t banned. Here’s why: There are two types of gambling operators — independent and regulated or GamStop accredited. Independent casinos aren’t regulated by the UKFC, as such, payment options are limitless compared to regulated casinos. It is in fact for the latter that credit cards are banned. While independent platforms are great for people who can control their spending limit when gambling, it causes a challenge for those who’d need help with gambling responsibly. Hence, the ban.
The UK Gambling Commission introduced game timers, restrictions on max stakes, and mandated GamStop registration for its licensees including a government review about gambling legislation. And many more changes are in progress.
The major reason why credit cards were banned in GamStop casinos was that gamblers who were struggling with the challenge could easily send money to gamble even when they did not have by using credit. This was opposed to other payment methods where people can spend only the money in their account rather than going into more debt to satisfy their desires.
Are There Alternative Options?
Of course, there are. It’s already established that credit cards are still in use by independent operators so they keep playing the regular way. What other options are available?
Debit and Prepaid Cards
Punters who play with regulated operators on the other hand can make use of Debit Cards and Prepaid Cards or scroll through more payment options at Casino-Wise.com. Debit cards are actually a popular option to add and withdraw funds on online casinos — it allows you access to only money in the account and nothing more. Prepaid cards are similar to debit cards, you can only spend money that’s preloaded on it.
Using these two options, gamblers can spend what they have with certain debit cards allowing people to go way above their budget through an overdraft, but there are limits to this. Note that withdrawals aren’t always possible with prepaid cards and debit card payouts can sometimes take several days before the withdrawals enter your account.
Currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have gained traction in the last couple of years and have emerged as an alternative funding option. This has led to the rise of its validation across the sector and has paved the way for new coins to be used for betting as investors find themselves profit off it. Cryptocurrencies are digital coins or assets that are created into a blockchain and remain unchanged. This makes them scarce elements with some backed by an ecosystem of physical goods and financial services.
Because of the anonymity that comes with crypto, users have to provide I.D for verification at non-UK casinos. As a result, there is every tendency that it may not be widely accepted in the UK gambling industry.
Digital Payment Options
A valid option for gamblers, when faced with gambling-related payments, is e-wallets. They are digital wallets where money can be easily stored, sent, and received online. Quite a number of big names in the sector such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and others are available on online casinos today.
The option to pay online has provided another layer of safety when carrying out transactions because you would not have to give out any sensitive financial information to the online casino. Also, they are probably the fastest way to withdraw money from an online casino account, which is great when you need to access your funds without delay. In some cases, your funds can be instantly accessed after making an e-wallet withdrawal.
Are Credit Cards Still Used For Gambling?
As earlier stated, it is still in use but for non GamStop casinos. The disadvantages associated with using credit cards for gambling are quite obvious. Gamblers can get carried away and end up in more losses than they bargained for.
The gambling problem is a serious issue that should be properly taken care of when it comes to protecting people. But that shouldn’t stop people who can gamble responsibly from being able to use their credit cards to fund transactions without encountering any issues. However, they might still be barred from doing so if they try to play on UKGC sites.
If you gamble responsibly and are finding it difficult to use credit cards to fund an online casino account, there are alternative sites you can play at. Non—GamStop or independent operators are platforms outside of the UKGC’s jurisdiction that do not have to follow rules associated with them like the credit card ban.
For several casino fans in the UK, the restrictions have been somewhat of a burden on them. Most of the changes were made after pressure from the government and NGOs and while they’re beneficial for some, they ruin the gambling experience for others. The good news is there are other viable options available today.