Increase in Availability of Bank-Card Blocking Schemes – A Demand from GambleAware

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GambleAware, an independent and responsible gamble charity in the UK, is known for its campaigns against the adversity of impulsive betting. Now, according to the reports, they have placed another request to the UK government, gambling regulators, and financial institutions. They have appealed so that consumers can have sufficient ability to block gambling-centric banking card transactions.

A report from iGaming, the charity had commissioned a special investigation focusing on the uptake, effectiveness, and availability of the United Kingdom’s bank card blocking programs. This plea has been originated because of the report.

The researchers of the University of Bristol’s Personal Research Centre had carried out an inquiry. They revealed the truth that around 28 million active bank accounts in the United Kingdom do not offer such functionality. Hence, such accounts require immediate improvements for providing an enhanced level of security to the consumers.

While portraying another fragility of the UK financial institutions, the findings of the reports depict, there are only eight banks, which serve this purpose. Only these eight banks are currently serving their clients with the ability to block gambling related bank card transactions. Although, these eight banks mean 49 million personal current accounts, the number is not enough if the entire UK is held on the scale. 

For portraying the current usage of blocking tools in the United Kingdom, few statistics and aggregated data have been offered by the financial institutions. The given data is proof of the effectiveness of the blockers. According to the data collected from one bank, consumers, who have used the blockers, could stop two to three gambling transactions within a month on average. These two to three transactions often sums up to an amount as significant as 390,000 to 585,000. Portraying this potential, the researchers have said that blockers are available and active, but the only thing required is improvements.

According to the reports, the investigation also pointed out three such facilities to shut down immediately while others can be simply conquered by the persons, who are brave to gamble.

Reportedly, the inquiry performed by GambleAware, the bank card blocking program, will be available exclusively for specific products along with plenty of others. This initiative will be continued for the products, which are currently under the management of bespoke channels.

As a simplification, it is narrated that such software is already available to 40% of credit card users in the United Kingdom. But, because of the mid-April ban, gamblers couldn’t be able to utilize the service for funding their accounts.

Moreover, GambleAware’s Chief Executive, Marc Etches, has announced that a series of recommendations have been made by the organisation subsequently. These recommendations are entirely based on the facts that the investigation has found.

Words from GambleAware’s Chief Executive also assert the plea for developing the current legal and regulatory conditions by the Financial Conduct Authority is also included in the recommendations.

This particular matter is included in the recommendations with the hope that the gambling industry would be encouraged. And it will develop a range of consumer spending controls.

GambleAware has also suggested that the Financial Conduct Authority should immediately advise financial institutions. Financial institutions need to be advised to start the inclusion of spending control to all new credit and debit cards. They need to design for broad-spectrum products, interventions, and associated services. And for this reason, they also need to start working with the gamblers, who have already experienced gambling-related harms.

Mark Etches has also emphasised that all across the United Kingdom, bank card blocking programs needed to be mandatory. Along with that, he also encouraged the credit referencing agencies for shaking hands with financial institutions of the UK. Cause, if the entities get united, through a ‘one-stop-shop,’ they can allow the customers to put a notice of rectification for their credit files.

According to Mark Etches, for providing security to the gamblers from gambling-related harms, banks need to be fully operational for playing their part. They need to give the allowance to their consumers for blocking gambling-centric transactions.

An optimistic approach also has been seen by quite a few banks. A few of them have taken the necessary methods for protecting their customers from gambling originated damages. Besides, the research by Bristol University’s Personal Finance Research Centre has found the potential of the UK to make all the improvements.

Additionally, it has also showcased the immense necessity of these reforms to happen. And now, it is believed, if the government, gambling regulatory bodies, and the financial institutions of the UK work together, the problem of impulsive betting can be eliminated. Being protected from the adversity of impulsive betting, many bettors’ life can be improved and even be saved.

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