The Gambling Commission has announced that from 14 April 2020, gambling businesses can no longer allow UK customers to use credit cards to gamble.

The decision follows the Commission's review of online gambling and the Government's “Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures”. The ban on the use of credit cards will apply to all forms of remote gambling (i.e. betting, gaming and lotteries), and to non-remote betting.

The purpose of the ban is to provide a layer of protection for vulnerable people, as research has shown that 22% of those using credit cards to gamble online are “problem gamblers”. The Gambling Commission Chief Executive has said that the importance of reducing the risk of harm to some consumers outweighs the inconvenience for others who use credit cards responsibly.

Charities should note that the ban will not extend to non-remote lotteries, where payment is made face to face. In the response to the consultation published by the Gambling Commission, it is noted that society lottery tickets and scratch cards can be purchased in supermarkets and newsagents as part of a larger shop, and therefore it would be disproportionately difficult for retailers to prevent the purchase of lottery tickets by credit card when customers must be allowed to purchase non-gambling products by credit card.

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