Payments exec: UK credit card ban a positive move but 'overrated'

By Iqbal Johal

The UK credit card gambling ban is "overrated" because other payment methods are more popular, according to a payment provider executive.

In January, the Gambling Commission announced a ban on consumers being able to use credit cards to gamble in the UK, coming into effect from 14 April, with its own stats showing 22% of the 800,000 who use credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers.

But Board Member of PXP Financial Kamran Hedjri believes, while the ban is a positive move, its impact is limited because players generally tend to use other payment methods to gamble instead.

According to research by PXP Financial into the payment habits of different generations, 55% of those surveyed at ICE London believe the ban will have a negative effect on the industry.

The research focused on Generation Z, those born from 1997, Millennials, 1981-1995 and Generation X, 1965-1980. It showed 59% of Generation X use credit cards to gamble, with millennials the bigger users of debit cards,  49% using it as their primary payment method.

In total, 67% of Generation X thought the credit card ban would have a negative impact on the industry.

More than 45% of respondents across the generations used debit cards as their main method for gambling, rising to 53% adding in various payment forms such as mobile wallets.

Speaking to Gambling Insider, Hedjri said: “The credit card ban is overrated because we don’t think this is going to be a big thing as there is a sense in the industry cards used are not predominantly credit cards; a lot of them are debit cards.

“The credit card ban will make a difference but customers will divert to alternative solutions such as bank transfers and so on. There’s only a small amount of cards that are actually credit cards.

"The customers have got a way to find a solution that they don’t use a credit card and they can use other means that are more fit for purpose for a regulatory framework.

“I think it’s a good move for the industry and nobody should bet on credit. It’s a positive thing and we support that and we think it’s a good approach.”

Elsewhere, the research showed Generation Z is yet to have a huge impact on online gaming and millennials are still the biggest spenders when it comes to online gambling.

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