UK Credit Card Ban in Gambling: Why Industry Leaders Are Hopeful in 2023

Will UK Credit Card Ban in Gambling be diluted in 2023?

On the 14th of April, 2020, the British Government announced the ban on credit cards as a mode of payment for gambling. All businesses in the UK have ceased accepting credit cards from punters placing bets. The ban was applied on all forms of gambling with an exception of National Lottery tickets which were sold via newsagents and grocery stores and are difficult for retailers to separate. Also, numerous credit card frauds were reported at non-licensed/ offshore regulated casinos, except the credible ones reviewed on popular sites such as The decision for imposing the ban came from two separate government reviews into social responsibility and online gambling in the industry. As per the UKGC, over 24 million adults gamble in Britain. Data retrieved from Think Tank UK Finance shows that 800,000 punters in the UK used credit cards for gambling during 2018-19.

Credit Card Gambling

The UKGC believes that credit card gambling can lead to massive financial harm. The ban announced by them indicated a minimization of risks to punters with money that needs repayment with interest. The CEO of the gambling commission, Mr. Neil McArthur, mentioned that research shows that 22% of online punters using credit cards have been suffering from gambling harms. Also, most of the credit card issuers kept charging high-interest rates and late fees, which further accelerates the debt crisis. He mentioned that many punters have accumulated thousands worth of debt through gambling due to the availability of credit cards. Evidence also suggests that the fees charged by credit card companies can aggravate the situation of financial debt since gamblers often try to chase losses. The UKGC wants all operators to have access to certain customer data for controlling gambling spending. The government is in support of this decision since affordability checks could help lowering spending and losses in the gambling industry.

What Does Brigid Simmonds Say on This Matter?

The chairman of the Betting and Gaming Council which represents over 90% of the UK’s gambling is Brigid Simmonds. She mentioned that the organization was solely committed to delivering safe gambling methods. She also mentioned that a ban on credit cards would also tick off boxes like age verification, additional funding for research, markers of affordability checks and harms, education, and treatment as well as new codes of conduct for customer protection. During 2021-22, the online gambling market grew by 11.82%. During 2021-2026, the gambling market in the UK is expected to grow by $142.38 billion. During 2020-21, the top age group that preferred online gambling was between 45-54 and represented 32.8% of the total gamblers. Around 48% of total punters gambled at least once a week. During 2020-21 Covid-19, the GGY grew by 13.5% for remote betting whereas remote betting platforms grew by 22.5%.


During 2022, year-on-year gambling among UK punters grew by 43%. The UKGC follows a few strategic objectives behind the credit card ban. It wants to curb gambling harms and protect children from the adverse effects of gambling. UKGC aims to build a fair gambling market for all consumers by improving gambling regulations. It also hopes to optimize returns to beneficial causes from the National Lottery. To cope with the rising gambling addiction problem, over 680 firms donated over £34.7 million to GambleAware in 2022 which focuses on reduced gambling harms and awareness about responsible gambling among punters.

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