Published: April 16, 2023

Why Does UKGC Ban Usage Of Credit Cards At iGaming Operators?

The popularity of online casinos grows among UK players and the need to regulate gambling practices is extremely important. Most punters have found themselves spending much more than they could afford. So, UKGC decided that credit card usage is harmful to punters. However, irregular spending habits are an issue among problem players only.

The UKGC has launched consultations on credit card gambling and other charities have put efforts into safer gambling practices and helping out vulnerable gamblers. Later, the UK Gambling Commission ban the use of credit cards at online casinos.

Credit cards offer a quick and easy way to make online payments, which is especially important when it comes to online gambling. So, some online casinos have found ways to work around the ban and still accept credit cards as a payment option. Players in the UK still have access to online casinos that accept credit cards, and it is not a problem for punters who control their gambling expenses. It's important to remember that using a credit card to gamble can be risky, so only players who play responsibly can use it.

Does Really Credit Card Gambling Harms?

Overall participation by the UK punters in 2022 was 43% which however remained lower than the pre-pandemic participation of 47%. The in-person gambling participation rate had increased to 26% from 23% in Jan-March 2021. The Commission had made consultations that have prominently outlined the importance of avoiding credit cards for gambling since most punters tend to spend a lot more money than they can afford.

In 2021, there were around 24 million punters in the UK who participated in online casinos every month. This adds up to 44% of the entire adult population. The UKGC had issued over 3600 licenses to 2600 online casino companies.

Credit Providers Push Responsible Gambling

The UKGC majorly controls the gambling market in the UK. Through its push, it has restricted credit cards from all casino activities for controlling the negatives attached to them. Soon, they imposed a complete ban on credit cards to curb the issue. Credit card providers faced major losses due to this decision since it was hindering other forms of transactions too. The potential customer base had reduced and the providers suggested the UKGC impose strict regulatory measures instead of a complete ban. In this way, most of the potential punters will avoid being locked out.

They would continue to enjoy the privileges that credit cards have to offer. There are around 175 casinos in the country. Online gambling in the UK has the highest GGY. According to 2020 reports, online casinos took £5.7 billion GGY which is around 40% of the entire market.

UKGC Confirms Usage of Credit Cards at Online Casinos

In 2020, there was a comprehensive consultation where the United Kingdom Gambling Commission gathered opinions on the ban on credit cards for gambling. Many punters from the industry showed interest in the regulations and aired out their views on reducing the menace. Among them was the general public who hold a position in the regulation of gambling policies and stakeholders like GambleAware.

These third parties and charities had insisted upon imposing a complete ban on credit cards since the UK had an immense number of problem players. To them, this ban could help punters in the long term. Although this implication felt negative for credit card providers, GambleAware and other campaigns were keen on imposing the ban. In 2020, the total gross gambling yield was £14.1 billion which was 1.4% less than in 2019 and 2.1% less than in 2018.

Sectors like arcades, bingo, and casinos have flourished majorly in the UK. Online casinos made a total GGR of £1937 million from April-September 2020, and land-based casinos made £2812 million during the same period.


Despite the UKGC ban, credit card payments at casinos are still popular in the UK. Gambling problems in the UK cost up to £1.3 billion every year in the UK. The high rates of problem gambling among the citizens of the United Kingdom were the sole reason behind the Gambling Commission imposing the ban.

Strict regulations are believed to solve the entire gambling addiction problem. This recent ban is helping players set the right gambling limits which help in controlling their expenses. Overall, the outlook of online gambling appears to be positive till the time the industry balances out the pros and cons effectively.


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