Banks complacent tackling problem gambling


All bank cards should be able to be blocked

7th July 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Banks must be more vigilant in blocking cards used by problem gamblers, a charity has warned.

Research by GambleAware found just eight financial companies offered customers the chance to block future payments to gambling sites.

The charity says gamblers often block their own cards to reign-in their problem before they end up losing all their cash.  

Research by the University of Bristol recommended that regulators should  ensure all banks have card blockers in place, with the restrictions unable to be removed for at least 48 hours.

They have also called on financial institutions to do more to raise awareness among customers that the blockers are available.

Problem gambling is thought to cost the UK up to £1.2bn a year and can devastate the lives of those affected.

GambleAware said Nationwide and Capital One do not offer to block card payments to gambling companies as a standard feature. Of the eight banks that do offer the option, customers of three could immediately turn them off.

The GambleAware chief executive, Marc Etches, said: “Keeping people safe from gambling harms requires banks to play their full part in providing consumers with effective means to block gambling transactions.”

Last week the UK government said it would review the gambling act in the face of a growing consensus among MPs and addiction experts that the current legislation is no longer effective.