Gambling Commission — Review of online gambling
A comprehensive review of the online gambling market in the UK was released in 2018, including many details about the evolution of gambling in the UK after the Gambling Act 2014.
This document states that Great Britain has the largest regulated online gambling market in the world, with £4.7bn gross gambling yield (GGY) per annum, and all points that the industry will continue to grow over the coming years.
We have considered the UK as the modern online poker heaven on earth, thanks to a friendly regulation that welcomes many poker expats.
A crucial recommendation included in the report was to "consider whether gambling on credit should continue to be permitted" because players who bet more than they can afford was identified as a significant risk. About 10%-20% of payments to gambling companies are processed with credit cards.
Gambling with borrowed money, even through the use of a credit card, is a risk factor and, therefore, the ability of consumers to gamble with credit should be restricted.
After reviewing this document, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said the commission was committed to studying the use of credit cards for online gambling. And this week, they passed to action by announcing a ban of credit cards from April 2020.
The UK will ban gambling on credit cards in 2020
The Gambling Commission revealed that 22% of the about 800,000 customers using credit cards to gamble (8% of the entire gambling community) suffer from some type of gambling problem. It is about 200,000 people who could be using a credit card to borrow money and continue gambling out of stakes.
Neil McArthur, Chief Executive at the Gambling Commission, said that this ban would effectively minimize the risks for players as they won't be able to play with money they don't have, at least with credit cards.
The ban on credit cards will start on April 14, 2020, three months from today. The Gambling Commission also announced that all online gambling operators are required to take part in the GAMSTOP project.
Both measures clearly show that the UK authorities are committed to keeping the gambling environment safe, adding new rules to protect players, and asking gambling sites to take real action about responsible gaming.
How will banning credit card gambling affect online poker players?
One this is sure: as of April 14, 2020, all poker sites won't be able to accept credit cards to process deposits or withdrawals. But this could have little effect on real grinders.
Although the word "ban" sounds like something terrible usually, in our experience, many of our grinders don't use credit cards directly to process payments to online poker rooms.
This is related to the high fees charged by credit cards when processing payments, and that withdrawals can take up to a week, depending on the amount. This is without counting any interest rate charged to online transactions.
Almost all our grinders use e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller, or ecoPayz that process transactions immediately, are cheaper, and even offer debit cards to use the balance directly in any business. Most likely, these e-wallets can continue to charge money with credit cards, just in case.
What payment methods will be available to play online poker after the credit card ban?
The ban will apply only to credit cards; this means that all other payment methods will keep operating normally in the UK. We recommend our grinders to use:
And if you want to use state-of-the-art technology, you can always use Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, that is widely accepted both in the UK and offshore poker networks.
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