In the United Kingdom and the GambleAware independent responsible gambling charity has reportedly called on the government, regulators and financial institutions to ensure consumers have the widespread ability to block gambling-related bank-card transactions.
According to a report from iGamingBusiness.com, the plea comes after the organization published the details of a special investigation it commissioned into the availability, uptake and effectiveness of bank-card blocking programs in the United Kingdom. This inquiry was purportedly conducted by the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre and found that some 28 million personal bank accounts do not currently offer such a functionality while those that do require improvements so as to provide greater levels of protection.
It was further reported that the examination also discovered that only eight financial institutions in the United Kingdom currently offer their clients the ability to block gambling-related bank-card transactions. Although these account for around 49 million personal current accounts, the source detailed that the investigation moreover found that three such facilities may be instantly switched off while others can be easily defeated by those determined to gamble.
The inquiry from GambleAware (pdf) reportedly determined that existing bank-card blocking programs furthermore tend to be solely available for certain products with many others only manageable via bespoke channels. It was further explained that such software is already offered to around 40% of credit card customers in the United Kingdom although gamblers have not been able to legally use such services to fund their accounts since the implementation of a mid-April ban.
Marc Etches, Chief Executive for GambleAware, reportedly proclaimed that his organization has subsequently made a series of recommendations based on the findings of its investigation. He stated that these include the development by the Financial Conduct Authority of legal and regulatory conditions that would encourage the industry to develop a range of consumer spending controls.
The boss for GambleAware reportedly declared that the Financial Conduct Authority should additionally begin advising financial institutions to include spending controls in every new debit and credit card as standard while working with those who have experienced gambling-related harm to design a broad spectrum of affiliated services, products and interventions.
Finally, Etches reportedly pronounced that bank-card blocking programs should be made obligatory across the United Kingdom and he likewise encouraged credit referencing agencies to unite with financial institutions in order to allow customers to insert a notice of correction into their credit files via a ‘one-stop shop.’
Reportedly read a statement from Etches…
“Keeping people safe from gambling harms requires banks to play their full part in providing consumers with effective means to block gambling transactions. While some banks have taken proactive steps to help shield their customers from gambling harms, the findings of this research indicate that improvements can and should be made. We encourage the banking industry to work together alongside the government and regulators to implement the proposed recommendations.”