As ensuring a safe gambling environment is one of the top priorities of the UK Gambling Commission, last week, the regulatory body provided much-needed information on gambling behaviour among UK players. In its latest report, the Commission shared consumer’s opinions on cashless gambling transactions and the concern that arises from such payments.
Last week, the Commission also issued an update on the ongoing Football Index affair. As numerous customers were affected by the platform’s downfall, the Commission decided to provide more information on the case.
UKGC Report Shows Consumer Concerns About Cashless Gambling Transactions
The data published last week is based on a survey with 314 participants who shared their opinion on payment methods at land-based casinos. As the fintech industry is constantly evolving, British people started using various cashless payment methods when paying for either goods or services.
According to a Finance survey from 2018, debit card payments surpassed cash in popularity, with debit cards being the most common payment solution among UK consumers for that year. As the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the country, and the entire world, non-cash payments became even more common among British people, with more than half of the payments for 2020 in the UK being carried out via cards.
The survey was done online, with all 314 participants having gambled at least once at a land-based casino for the past 12 months. Surprisingly, non-cash payments were not that popular among land-based gamblers, with many of them showing concerns about using alternative methods to fund their gambling.
According to the survey, most land-based players prefer to use cash when they gamble at brick-and-mortar casinos. About 79% of gamblers believe using cash gives them better control over their spendings, with 73% reporting having an easier time keeping a track of their bets if they use cash. Another 70% shared it is easier for them to set betting limits when they use real money for their land-based gambling.
On the contrary, respondents believe that cashless payments make it harder to set limits and have control over one’s spendings while betting at land-based facilities. The survey shows that 80% of land-based gamblers believe it is easier to spend more when using cashless payment options. About 77% of respondents also think it is easier to spend more time on gambling than intended when using cashless payment solutions, and 60% reported feeling like they have spent less than they actually have when using such payment methods.
Almost all respondents pointed to sticking to a set budget when gambling either as very or somewhat important. Land-based players shared that they might end up gambling more than they have intended to when using cashless methods like contactless payments via smartwatches, smartphones or cards.
While respondents prefer cashless payments when buying groceries, purchasing clothing items at brick-and-mortar shops, or dining at restaurants, when it comes to land-based gambling, cash is the most preferred payment solution. When playing on slots and fruit machines, 77% of respondents prefer using cash. Meanwhile, 71% of respondents prefer cash when betting on sports or races and another 69% choose cash payments for land-based casino gambling.
UKGC Publishes Update on Football Index
As many consumers are concerned about the ongoing issue with Football Index, last week, the UK Gambling Commission issued a new update, informing customers about the latest news surrounding the company.
Although the Commission admitted to having limited power over resolving the issue, it still wanted to provide useful information for customers of the platform. The regulatory body stated that the investigation on BetIndex (Football Index’s operator) is ongoing but it will focus on constantly updating its customers.
The regulator ensured that BetIndex is still under administration and the company is constantly publishing updates on its official website. Although the Commission is not responsible for returning funds to affected consumers, it will make sure to meet any legal requirements to help the solving of this issue. It is, however, the courts and the Administrators’ task to come up with a solution and return funds to BetIndex customers.
The Commission provided more information on the “Trust Deed monies” which are collected by the company as means of covering the wagers of its costumes in case of financial difficulties. Currently, these funds are held by the Viscount of Jersey after the court’s decision to repay the money to the wallets of customers who suffered unfair losses.
The next step is to notify these customers about being able to withdraw their money. When that happens, they will be able to log into their Football Index accounts and request a withdrawal.
In regards to the “shared portfolio” concerns of many consumers, there is still no evaluation on this issue from the Administrators. Even though the regulator has limitations on the information it can share on this issue, it will continue to provide updates on BetIndex’s case.