To ensure that the credit card ban cannot be "easily circumvented"

UK gambling regulators' ban on credit cards extends to e-wallet based credit card play

"Operators cannot accept any payment through an MSB unless the MSB has prevented the use of credit cards for gambling through their services," the UKGC explained.
2020-06-12
Reading time 1:48 min
The UK Gambling Commission's new license condition 6.1.2 prevents gambling operators from accepting payments by credit card either directly or through any Money Service Businesses (such as an e-wallet or other fintech and electronic money institutions enabling e-money transfers) which allows credit cards deposits.    

In a recent statement titled "Guidance on credit card payments made through Money Service Businesses (MSBs)," the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced that its recent ban on credit cards extends to payments for gambling made by credit card through any MSB. 

The new license condition 6.1.2 prevents gambling operators from accepting payments by credit card either directly or through any MSB (such as an e-wallet or other fintech and electronic money institutions enabling e-money transfers) which allows credit cards deposits.    

One of our key intentions in banning gambling with credit cards was to maximize the levels of friction during the process of accessing and using borrowed funds for gambling, in order to reduce the risk of consumers experiencing harm from gambling with borrowed money.  

It is important for operators to ensure that the credit card ban cannot be easily circumvented by simply topping up an e-wallet or online money transfer account directly from a credit card, where those funds could then be used for gambling with very little friction in the transactional process.  

"We explained in the credit cards consultation and in our responses that this would mean that operators could not accept any payment through an MSB unless the MSB has prevented the use of credit cards for gambling through their services," the UKGC explained. "This includes, for example, circumstances where an MSB allows its customers to transfer funds from a credit card into a wallet or account which could then be used by the customer to make gambling deposits.  "

For clarity, and further to specific queries raised by operators, this includes electronic money institutions such as Revolut which has confirmed that its customers can add money using credit cards. Operators must, therefore, put systems in place to prevent gambling payments from these products.  

However, there may be other e-money businesses that operate a similar service to Revolut and which also allow their customers to make credit card deposits which then could be used for gambling.  

The UKGC reminded operators that they must take the following course of action before accepting customer payments via any MSB (including through any card payment instruments issued by those MSBs to its customers): 

  • operators must satisfy themselves that customers of that MSB cannot fund their e-accounts or e-wallets with credit card deposits and then use those funds for gambling. 
  • operators will need to reject all payments made through such MSBs that have not developed a ‘block’ to prevent credit card deposits being used for gambling through their e-account or e-wallet facilities.  
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