UK Casinos – is Gambling Safer Now?
Changes are happening every day in the casino sector and many of the changes are positive. Recently, credit cards have been banned in UK casinos as a means to deposit to online casinos. This has been a major inconvenience to players, but not an entirely terrible idea as a protective measure.
Gambling Commission chief executive, Neil McArthur said: “Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.
The ban will apply to all online and offline gambling products except lotteries that are run for good causes. These lotteries will have to provide a significant layer of additional protection to vulnerable people. BBC 14 January, 2020
With this, the greater good is considered and protecting vulnerable, problem gamblers is a reasonable and common sense thing to do.
According to the Gambling Commission, 24 million adults in Britain gamble, with data from thinktank U.K. Finance showing that 800,000 British people used credit cards to gamble in 2018.
“Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have,” Neil McArthur, CEO of the Gambling Commission, said in a statement on Tuesday. CNBC 14 January, 2020
“Safe and responsible gambling comes from an industry that takes care of its customers, customers who are empowered with the knowledge to manage their gambling and a regulator that ensures the consumer is at the heart of everything we do.” UK Gambling Commission
This, along with age verification should, in fact, make gambling safer for all participants. Other implemented actions by the commission include fines for improper advertising of gambling products. Improper advertising, especially those adverts illegally targeting under-age people, and policies against the social good, have all but stopped. Several of the larger casino companies were made examples with hefty fines being levied on them early on.
One customer, who earned about 30,000 pounds a year, was allowed to deposit 541,000 pounds over 14 months with no probing other than a verbal conversation, it said. The customer was funding his gambling habit by stealing from his employer.
Another customer, who also had an annual salary of about 30,000 pounds, gambled 654,000 pounds over nine months with no checks on the source of funds, it said.
William Hill said it had changed its policies and increased investment in anti-money laundering. Reuters 20 February, 2020
The Commission also reminds operators that they can only accept payments via e-wallets if those e-wallets prevent credit cards used for gambling.
Additionally, the Commission will look to clamp down on VIP schemes:
The Gambling Commission is also reportedly considering a clampdown on VIP schemes which can reward gamblers who habitually lose money with perks, such as free bets, cashback on losing wagers or football tickets. Independent 14 January 2020
Online Casino Deposit Methods at UK Casinos
Simply searching to find out which depositing methods are permitted in the UK will return thousands of misinformed websites. When going to several UK casinos while writing this, most of the casinos still display Visa and Mastercard as credit cards that can still be accepted. On the William Hill site, they do notify consumers that in the UK credit cards are no longer permitted, but Debit cards are still a valid method. So yes, gambling at UK casinos is much safer with recent regulations, but it is also a bit more confusing for operators and gambling consumers.
UK casino deposit methods that are valid are available here.
What is the Best Way to Know if a Casino is Regulated in the UK
The UK Gambling Commission publishes the names of all companies and individuals who hold, or have applied for, operating licences in Great Britain.
They also publish the names of companies or individuals whose licences have lapsed, been revoked, forfeited, expired, suspended, or surrendered in the last three years.
Consumers can download their search results as either XLSX or JSON or simply just use the provided search located here.