In the past two years, the British government and the UK Gambling Commission have been on high alert regarding climbing gambling addiction rates in Great Britain. Thus, both have taken action to stop the rise of this compulsion amongst UK residents. The first substantial such move was the introduction of GamStop, a nationwide self-exclusion scheme, which went online in March 2020. A month later, it got accompanied by the UKGC banning the use of debt accumulation payment methods, or credit cards, from all their licensed platforms. Below, an analysis concerning why this happened follows and how it shifted UK players’ attention to non GamStop casinos.
Why the UKGC Stopped Its Operators From Accepting Credit Cards
The UK’s ban on credit cards happened in April 2020 and came on the heels of the UKGC releasing statistics that showed that 24 million Brits gamble. Consequently, the think-tank – UK Finance, added that 800,000 of these players favored using credit cards when playing online.
According to the former Head of the UKGC, Neil McArthur, credit card gambling can lead to enormous financial harm. Moreover, the loss of funds aside, this expression of this hobby can also cause severe emotional stress, and as such, it has no place in the UK market. Another fact that further solidified this notion is that recent research showed that 22% of internet problem gamblers use credits cards when engaging in this pastime. The card ban got chaperoned with several other measures, such as new codes of conduct aimed to protect players, age-verification checks, and more gambling-related tax revenues going to the education about the dangers of this activity and treatment of those suffering from it.
In early-2021, the UKGC decided to add new anti-gambling-addiction measures by implementing mandatory wait times between slots spins, lowering the max wager limit at all UKGC online casinos, and removing the auto-play function. These limited the intensity of online slot gameplay, yet they also drove many Brits to seek out casinos not using GamStop or foreign-based platforms. Such sites do not follow the rules set by the UKGC and Britain’s government.
Prepaid & Debit Cards
Prepaid and debit cards from top-end payment providers like Visa and MasterCard are still on hand at UK-based interactive gaming sites. They are a far better alternative than credit cards for online gambling because players cannot accumulate debt using them. Prepaid cards are super handy for gambling over the internet because they are inherently a responsible betting tool. Players can fund their prepaid cards with funds allotted only for gaming fun, forcing them to only spend money at an online casino that they have budgeted for their gaming session. They can never get too engrossed in this activity and overstep their means. To do so, they must go through the hassles involved with refueling their card’s balance or purchasing a new one. The most used online gambling prepaid solution is a Paysafecard.
Electronic wallets, also known as digital or e-wallets, are an online payment solution that first appeared in 2001 when PayPal launched in its initial form. From that point on, this method of facilitating internet transactions did not stop growing in popularity. Today, there are over 4.4 billion digital wallet users around the globe and hundreds of such payment solutions. There are even dozens that got invented for online gambling alone. Neteller and Skrill are the two prime examples of this category. In the first years of their existence, only online gamblers used them. Even nowadays, rarely does any non GamStop casino not feature these. The benefits of using an e-wallet at an online casino are that this method facilitates transactions faster than traditional card options, and they boast state-of-the-art security.
Digital coins got invented in 2009 when Bitcoin entered the digital sphere. However, it took a while for cryptos to go mainstream, as they only entered the public discourse around 2015, and only in the past few years have they truly gone mainstream. In 2016, the UKGC accepted them as a fiat money equivalent, and now, many UK-based casinos allow Bitcoin and other altcoins for deposits and withdrawals. Their main positives are that they can facilitate transfers at lightning-fast speeds and their low fees. Many think that they also provide anonymity, but that is not the case at UKGC-regulated sites, as UK operators require that players go through identity checks regardless of if they are playing with cryptos or not. That said, a casino not on GamStop that has no KYC policy in place can provide crypto fanatics with total anonymity when gambling online.
Should Credit Cards Get Used at Non GamStop Casino Only?
People that have a compulsion towards betting online should avoid utilizing their credit cards when gambling. It is not the most suitable payment method to use by people that have addictive or habit-forming personalities when they decide to test their luck on games of chance or put their sporting knowledge to work. However, players that are financially responsible and can keep a cool head when wagering at internet sportsbooks or casinos should have no issue. They can freely utilize their credit cards when indulging in these hobbies at non GamStop casinos.
That said, casinos not using GamStop support responsible gambling, even though they allow debt accumulation transaction methods. They implement intricate features like allowing users to set loss/deposit limits and activate a site-specific self-exclusion ban. They also allow for far more liberating gameplay than the one available at casino sites based in the UK. Plus, casino not using GamStop also have more enticing bonuses and better loyalty schemes. These are their main allures, aside from having no UKGC game restrictions.
To Sum Up
Brits cannot use their credit cards at online casinos UK-based operators licensed by the UKGC since April 2020. That is so because there seems to be a correlation between problem gamblers opting for this money transfer option far more often than they should when betting on gaming/gambling sites. Hence, Brits can now only use their credit cards at non GamStop casinos or foreign platforms that accept them as users. However, only those that have a knack for remaining cool-headed at all times should opt for this option.