It is said that British gamblers spend around £3 billion on casino games – including, of course, the hugely popular slots – every single year. That’s an impressive amount, and it’s no wonder that more and more online casinos are being launched and new slots promotions on games developed at a high speed. Everyone wants to cash in on this boom which is growing over time.
However, it’s not just developers and casino operators that have taken note of just how much the British public spend on this potentially expensive pastime. The UKCG (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) has seen what is happening too, and this regulator is concerned that people are spending too much. Not everyone, of course, but there are some gamblers who go too far, spending far more than they should, and getting into horrible debt because of it.
So the UKGC has put some measures in place to help people only spend what they can afford to spend – or at least that’s the idea. The main measure that recently came into force is that of banning the use of credit cards on online casinos. The idea behind this was that people would not be able to get into debt due to their gambling habits. Let’s explore the realities of what this ban has done.
Starting with the positives – because this credit card ban definitely has some – we can see that for those sometime gamblers who might have found they were getting carried away and turning to their credit cards when they had used their available funds this ban has been useful. Now, rather than getting themselves into debt, they are stepping away from the game and the site entirely once their gaming budget has been used up.
This means they are not getting into any unnecessary debt, and their finances are staying in good shape (assuming they are using a set budget of money they can afford to lose in the first place).
Although it would seem, at first glance, that the banning of credit cards as a payment method on online casinos and for gambling is a good thing, and although for many gamblers it is – as mentioned above it helps them stay within a sensible limit – it isn’t good for everyone. And for some, it makes no difference at all.
If someone has a serious gambling addiction, the ban of credit cards will have caused them a lot of trouble. In a small minority of cases it may have caused the gambler to take stock, realising that their gambling habit was going too far, and allowing them to seek help, but for many more it won’t have done that. For many more it will simply mean they have to find their gambling money elsewhere. No credit card? Then they might attempt to borrow money. If their credit is currently good, a bank might lend them a substantial sum, and that can be tempting to use for gambling. The problem is, repayments may not be possible.
Or perhaps the bank won’t lend. In that case the gambler might turn to friends and family, causing issues in relationships. Or they might seek out alternative means of borrowing, possibly from some rather unscrupulous characters, and that can mean extortionate (literally) interest rates and even physical danger.