Online gambling can be quite the fun past time, especially during the current pandemic where we’ve been more confined to our homes than ever.
While things such as regular casino gambling and sports betting are subdivisions of the gambling industry that will be taking a hit right now, online gambling figures way have shown an increase as people are increasingly looking for something, anything to do. We’ve previously reported how the Isle of Wight has become a juggernaut for online gambling since there are no physical casinos present here on the isle and also that Covid-19 has the potential to send shockwaves through the industry both good and bad depending on the type of gambling we look at.
Though online gambling is widely accepted, there’s been some scrutiny over the years in regards to the ways you deposit your money on such sites. Credit cards were widely accepted as a form of payment, but what some people did not realise was that credit card companies treat any form of gambling as a cash transaction (cash advance), which usually has fees of around 3% associated with it. The crux is there’s usually a minimum charge of £3. So, if you’re depositing a quick tenner here and there, you may have been faced with what’s equivalent to a 30% fee slapped on top. Team this with offers like a casino welcome bonus, that is usually several times the deposit amount, and many people could be sucked into the world of online gambling overnight, with no real knowledge of the associated credit card fees.
In addition to this, with many people having higher credit limits than what’s usually in their current accounts (a by-product of having a solid credit rating and getting regular credit reviews), there’s too much potential for online gambling with credit cards to become a problem, especially for those who suffer from addiction. Which is why, on 14th April this year, the Gambling Commission decided to ban the use of credit cards as payment for online gambling deposits.
The new law doesn’t just cover online gambling either, it covers the entirety of the gambling spectrum meaning that credit cards will not be able to be used in casinos once they reopen to the public. The only exception is for non-remote lotteries, such as National Lottery tickets and scratch cards that are bought in person at a retail outlet. Nevertheless, it’s still important to remember that these transactions will still face the regular credit card cash advance fees despite not being affected by the new law.
The Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, Neil McArthur said that “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”, as he presented findings that showed a huge 22% of people that use credit cards to gamble are problem gamblers.