The UK Government stepped up to curb gambling problems in the country. Aiming at a crackdown on gambling addiction of the people, the UK’s industry regulator on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, announced a policy that would ban gamblers to use credit cards in online or offline betting. The new policy is likely to affect around 24 million gamblers based in the country.
New Policy on Gambling in the UK
Many Britons who are addicted to gambling have incurred huge outstanding debts in their bank accounts due to the loss of betting online or offline gambling. According to Bank of England data, “Britons had a total of 72.1 billion pounds outstanding on credit cards in November 2019, down a little from a record 72.9 billion pounds struck in May of the same year.”
Concerning the alarming gambling issues in the country over the years, the Britain Government had levied high taxes on those companies that operated gambling in the UK last year. The UK’s industry regulator explained that the main aim of the new policy was to prevent its citizens from dipping down to their debts because of gambling.
The UK Finance, a trade association for the country’s banking and financial services sector, estimated that more than 800,000 Britons used credit cards for gambling. The Gambling Commission of the UK asserted that the main people for the addicted gamblers were that they bet more and more in the hope of winning back their losses. The country’s Culture Minister, Helen Whately highlighted the harmful consequences of the addicted gamblers on using credit cards. She said in a statement, “We will not hesitate to take any further action necessary to protect people from gambling harm.”
Impacts of New Policy on Gambling Operators
The new policy on gambling, which is applied to all online and offline gambling products except over-the-counter lottery tickets, will come into effect on April 14, 2020. Under the policy, the UK Government imposes strict rules for the operators to conduct checking the identity and ages of the people before they involve in online gambling. With this development, the policy is likely to have a major impact on the country’s gambling operations and to some extent, it might cut off some percent of the country’s revenues.
Gambling has been a lucrative business industry for the UK and many companies in the country earned huge revenue for operating gambling. The gambling operators have provided employment more than 100,000 people and earned around 14.4 billion pounds after paying out winnings in the 2018-2019 financial year alone.
Following the news of the new policy, the share value of the country’s betting operators including 888 Holdings, Flutter Entertainment, and William Hill dropped in early trading on Tuesday, before recovering by late morning. According to Davy Research analysts, “The latest in a recent series of more onerous regulatory changes, it also acts as a further reminder that the UK opportunity is no longer what it once was. However, it remains a very large, (still) growing and highly cash generative market for online gaming operators.” He further said the ban would not much affect the country’s revenue.
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