UK: What caused credit card ban in gambling?

UK: What caused credit card ban in gambling?

More than a year ago, the UK introduced a ban on credit cards from gambling. The responsible gaming regulator UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has now published an interim conclusion and is convinced of the benefits of the credit card ban. Could a credit card ban for gambling activities also be introduced in other countries soon?

In April 2020, a comprehensive credit card ban on gambling payments came into effect in the UK. The aim was to protect players with problematic gambling behavior by preventing them from getting into debt through credit card payments. The British supervisory authority UKGC published an interim conclusion a few weeks ago and is largely satisfied with the benefits of the ban.

Many problem players use credit cards as a means of payment

About one and a half years ago, the credit card ban for payments in the online gambling sector has entered into force in the UK. The competent bodies had agreed on it as many problem players use the credit cards as a preferred means of payment. Accordingly, the proportion was about 22%. But just for Gambler with problem-like game behavior, this payment is of course not suitable at all. Why? Quite simply: The payments are often billed only once a month and the player can quickly lose track of his financial situation here. Because played first with borrowed money. The evil awakening then usually comes at the end of the month.

Particularly pleasing at the introduced credit card ban is that many players advocate this ban. So many a problem player gave on survey to make his game behavior much better under control. In a news article, which we published in the summer of this year, we explain in detail how gambling adds and can be combated effectively.

How does the UK credit card ban work?

All licensed gaming providers were asked to remove the credit card payment option from their payment portfolio. This request was complied with. In addition, banks and credit institutions were asked to stop payment flows from credit cards, provided that the beneficiaries are gambling companies. In this way, the UK authorities have succeeded in preventing both licensed and unlicensed providers from making credit card payments.

Natcen Social Research

Only a few weeks ago became known a planned ban on credit cards for gambling in the Balearic Islands. In addition, work is currently being carried out in Great Britain on a long-term study commissioned by the British supervisory authority UKGC and carried out by NatCen Social Research. This should be completed in spring 2023.


The credit card ban on online gambling activities introduced in the UK in April 2020 appears to be bearing its first fruits. The ban seems to contribute to the fact that players play less often with borrowed money and thus have a better overview of their own financial situation.

Such a ban on credit card payments is currently not planned in Germany. In any case, the State Treaty on Gaming (GlüStV), which came into force on July 1, 2021, does not prohibit any individual payment methods. Of course, one can still be curious whether, sooner or later, credit card payments will be banned in online gambling in this country too.

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