The Gambling Commission (UKGC) has invited members of the public, gambling businesses and other stakeholders to provide their views on the issue of gambling online with credit cards.
Last year the commission backed the principle that consumers should not gamble with money they do not have – gambling with borrowed money is already well-established as a risk factor for harmful gambling. Now it is seeking meaningful input to help determine if restrictions, potentially including an outright ban, are necessary to limit risks to consumers.
There was also a call for gambling businesses to outline how they will meet the challenges set out in the Government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures over the protections for players using Category B gaming machines.
In April, the maximum stake on Category B2 gaming machines (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals) will be reduced from £100 to £2. Category B1 machines in casinos and Category B3 machines, sited in arcades, bingo halls and betting shops, offer maximum stakes of £5 and £2 respectively, but at up to eight times the speed of play of B2 games.
Data indicates that the risks associated with Category B1 and B3 machines are broadly similar to the risks with B2 machines at a £100 maximum stake – the reason why the commission said last year in its advice to Government that it wanted to explore player protection options further. Those options include tracking play, using time and monetary limits and alerts, and communicating messages about gambling safely. The Commission also said it wants to hear about industry efforts to evaluate harm prevention measures.
Paul Hope, UKGC Executive Director, said: “We are exploring measures that could help reduce the risk of harm to consumers who use their credit cards to gamble online, and to those who play on all Category B machines. We want consumers, gambling firms and other interested parties to have their say and provide evidence that will help us make gambling safer.”