UKGC reiterates the extent of its credit card ban

UKGC Credit Card Ban Guidance

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has reiterated that its credit card ban also extends to digital payment processing services such as eWallets. 

It was announced by the UKGC in January that a credit card ban would be implemented this year, with the rule coming into effect from April onwards. 

The Commission has now pointed to licence condition 6.1.2, which forbids various digital payment methods. 

In the UKGC’s latest guidance, it has also repeated the conditions that operators must adhere to. 

Credit cards just one part of the ban 

The Commission’s stance on online gambling payments is that “any MSB (such as an eWallet or other fintech and electronic money institutions enabling e-money transfers) which allows credit card deposits” is to be blocked by operators. This is in addition to credit card payments in their simplest form. 

Banking services provider Revolut was pointed to as an example. The company has blocked all on and offline gambling transactions for its credit card services. However, according to the UKGC, other electronic money institutions have adopted a similar approach. 

Licensees must, in the eyes of the Commission, be certain that MSBs cannot let customers use credit cards for gambling-related transactions. If this isn’t guaranteed, then the operator isn’t allowed to offer them as a payment option. 

Clarity 

On its website, the UKGC said the following in relation to the credit card ban

“We explained in the credit cards consultation and in our responses that this would mean that operators could not accept any payment through an MSB unless the MSB has prevented the use of credit cards for gambling through their services. 

“This includes, for example, circumstances where an MSB allows its customers to transfer funds from a credit card into a wallet or account which could then be used by the customer to make gambling deposits.    

“For clarity, and further to specific queries raised by operators, this includes electronic money institutions such as Revolut which has confirmed that its customers can add money using credit cards. Operators must therefore put systems in place to prevent gambling payments from these products.” 

The Commission also gave operators the two below bullet points as points of action. 

  • Operators must satisfy themselves that customers of that MSB cannot fund their e-accounts or eWallets with credit card deposits and then use those funds for gambling.  
  • Operators will need to reject all payments made through such MSBs that have not developed a ‘block’ to prevent credit card deposits being used for gambling through their e-account or eWallet facilities. 
Will the credit card ban accelerate cryptocurrency gaming? 

CoinPoint Founder and CEO Oron Barber spoke about the credit card ban. In particular, he discussed the chances of a wider adoption of cryptocurrency in gambling.

He had the following to say.

“Any ban, restriction and regulatory decision about banking, wallets or payment solution for the iGaming industry have immediate effect on the crypto adoption.

“Still, the bigger factor is the region as the UK is not a crypto adopted country to begin with. So, the effect of such a UKGC move is not too big. This is unlike similar decisions in LATAM markets or Asia.

“Since the first UKGC call on credit cards, all these merchants you can see here reported higher transactions volume. So in general, yes, this can help the crypto adoption and implementation to the market.”

Earnbet.io founder Mark Lee also spoke about the potential impact of the credit card ban on cryptocurrency gambling. He said the below.

“These restrictions by the UKGC further highlight the benefits for operators of adopting cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. These transfers are near-instant, have low transaction fees, and are very secure.

“Further, cryptocurrency adoption is rapidly increasing across the world. That’s why at EarnBet.io, we built our own wallet system for our players with 10 different cryptocurrencies accepted.”