The Gambling Watchdog in the United Kingdom, the UKGC, has launched a consultation last Thursday, regarding the usage of Credit Cards to place online stakes, as well as other gambling machine limits.
The UKGC Launches a Consultation about Credit Cards and Online Gambling
The UK watchdog is looking forward to submissions regarding the usage of borrowed money, for example, credit cards, to place online bets. It is seeking the opinion of people, whether to restrict it or completely ban it. The consultation is also looking forward to having the option and data to improve the player control measures for Category B Gambling Machines. The Category B gambling machines are not currently available at pubs nor family entertainment centers, and they come with a maximum stake of 2 British Pounds. While most of these machines have the max stake of 2 GBP, there is an exception for the Category B2 machines that have a maximum stake of GBP 100. The maximum wager for the B2 machines, also referred to as FOBTs, are going to suffer from a cut down of the max stake to 2 pounds this upcoming April.
The UKGC is looking into ways that would protect the players, such as tracking their play, the ability to set monetary limits, alerts, time tracking, and limits, as well as communication messages that talk about how to gamble safely.
The UKGC Asks for Evidence about Customer Protection
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is also asking for evidence form the gambling operators that show that they are developing and working on measures that would prevent gambling harm. According to Paul Hope, the UKGC Executive Director, they are exploring different rules that would reduce gambling harm, especially for those who enjoy gambling at Category B machines. The UKGC also made it clear how important it is to assess how the gambling operators interact and identify problem gamblers. Therefore, is important to assess the use of credit cards as well as increase customer protection.
The Effect on Gambling Operators
Other than the apparent decline is profits after the FOBTs max stake cut down, it seems that this news brought a more hard time for the operators. Shares in betting companies went down by 2.9% for 888 Holdings, 1.9% for William Hill, and 1.5% lower for Paddy Power Betfair.
The UKGC did not stop there, as the consultation also highlighted the importance of developing an effective ADR Scheme (Alternative Dispute Resolution). It includes the criteria and mechanics of this new scheme, and how to implement it and govern dispute resolutions and customer complaints.
Paul Hope also added that they would want as many people to participate and have their say on these matters, as possible. He said that these changes intend to accelerate the progress in customer protection. The Executive Director finished his statement by saying that making sure that gambling is safer and fairer is the primary driver behind how they regulate the market. He added that enhanced customer interaction, better ADR standards and evaluating the use of Credit Cards are a huge part of that.