Last week the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) was focusing on the results of the measures it has previously implemented to ensure safer gambling for UK individuals. In an interim evaluation published last week, the regulatory body issued a report on the results of the ban on credit cards for gambling purposes.
Meanwhile, the regulatory body also took on the task of investigating the online casino Sky Vegas as the brand was offering free-spins incentives to individuals recovering from gambling addiction. The Commission also decided to look into betting links provided on children’s sections on the websites of seven Premier League and Championship clubs.
Ban on Credit Cards Turns to Be Very Efficiently Implemented, Says Gambling Commission
According to an interim evaluation published last week, the ban on the use of credit cards for gambling was successfully executed. As there was evidence of gamblers in big debts mainly using credit cards for their wagers online, the regulator decided to introduce the ban in April 2020.
When examining the gambling environment after the ban, the regulator found out that a large number of consumers showed support for the new measure. This proved that the ban was very useful when players wanted to take control over their gambling-related spendings. Meanwhile, the rates of consumers utilising other methods to borrow money for gambling have remained stable.
Despite the ban on credit cards, the number of reports of illegal money lending for gambling-related purposes also remained the same. Many individuals who were previously utilising credit cards for their gambling have switched to alternative payment solutions that allow them to gamble only with available funds.
Banking institutions reported no spike in credit card gambling among money transfers they have processed in the three months after the ban was implemented. During the said period, there was also no spike in credit card withdrawals from ATMs. According to a major bank in the UK, credit card transactions to merchants with a gambling code have significantly declined. E-wallet companies have also blocked gambling transactions when the digital wallet was funded via credit card, which has further lowered the levels of credit-card use in gambling.
Following the results of the interim evaluation, the regulatory body appointed NatCen Social Research to conduct a complete evaluation of the way the credit card ban was implemented in the gambling industry in the UK. The findings of the full investigation will most probably be published in early 2023.
UKGC Investigates Sky Vegas for Luring Recovering Gamblers During Safer Gambling Week
Last week, the regulatory body launched an investigation on the online casino brand Sky Vegas. The reason for the review was a case of the virtual casino offering free spins to gamblers who were recovering from gambling addiction, raising the question of whether the brand was not luring vulnerable individuals into relapses. What is even worse is the offering of the promotional incentives happened as the Safer Gambling Week event was ongoing.
The incident is being investigated as the UKGC is continuing its revision of the 2005 Gambling Act, with numerous suggestions on the introduction of a ban on gambling-related advertisements and marketing.
The said mishap included several members of the online casino who have requested exclusion from playing slots and other online casino games receiving promotional emails offering free spins as one of Sky Vegas’ “mystery bonus” deals.
Sky Betting and Gaming apologised for the incident, ensuring that those emails were sent by mistake. Nevertheless, the UKGC will further investigate the case as it was extremely disappointing that the incident came during Safer Gambling Week – an annual campaign promoting a more secure gambling environment.
UK Gambling Watchdog to Investigate Betting Advertisements that May Lure Children to Gamble
The UKGC also announced that it will investigate seven Premier League and Championship clubs as they were providing links to betting sites on their official websites. The most concerning thing was that those links were available on children’s pages.
Major football clubs like Arsenal, Aston Villa, Tottenham, West Ham as well as Championship clubs like QPR, Millwall, and Reading were warned about this incident by BBC Sport. The links in question were available on the clubs’ official webpages, at the bottom sections of their pages for junior membership and games. After the clubs were made aware of their mistakes, the links were removed.
The Gambling Commission ensured that it will further investigate the matter. The regulator reminded that no gambling-related advertisements should be offered on web pages targeting individuals under the age of 18.
While Aston Villa, Millwall, QPR, Reading, Tottenham, and West Ham, ensured that the links leading to betting sites were added on the junior pages by mistake, other clubs had different responses. Arsenal informed that those links were aimed at the parents who were looking to sign up their children for the football club. That said, Arsenal ensured that they will amend their practices to avoid similar incidents.