The UK started implementing the ban on credit card gambling on Tuesday while it heightens its fight against gambling addiction during the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sketchy gambling affiliates are avoiding government restrictions by diverting gamblers to online gambling platforms not registered on the GAMSTOP self-exclusion program.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) released a statement on Tuesday that reminds online gambling operators that the government started the ban in using credit cards for gambling. The ban will include the use of credit cards to fund e-wallets used in funding gambling accounts.
Niel McArthur, the UKGC CEO, explained that they plan to reduce the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money that they do not have. He also said that the measure is timely because there are reports of increasing subscribers to online products like online slots and virtual sports. Also, there is a rising trend of UK customers interested in registering in the gambling products after the lockdowns were implemented.
Lockdowns affect gambler’s self-exclusion
Gamcare, a problem gambling charity in the UK, warned that the imposed lockdowns cause more gamblers to cancel their enrolment to their preferred self-exclusion assistance like the GAMSTOP. Anna Hemmings, Gamcare CEO, failed to give the number of individuals who wants to end their self-exclusion status, but she admitted that it is too early to conclude that problem gambling is on the rise.
The CEO revealed the decreasing number of calls they received since the lockdowns were started. He, however, said that it might be due to their client’s isolation from family members, which makes it difficult for them to discuss their issues with someone they trust.
Risky gambling affiliates promote non-GAMSTOP casino sites.
The UK required all licensed online casinos to integrate GAMSTOP starting last March 31.
Since the government initiative, the UKGC has summoned two operators after they failed to meet the deadline.
According to one of the affiliates, they see a growing demand for the top non-GAMSTOP casino sites.
Calvinayre.com reported that most of the affiliates promote unknown Curacao-licensed online casinos, and some mainstream brands like BetOnline, a US-facing sportsbook.
The affiliates said that they online offer what is needed, especially that there are glitches in communication between the licensed operators in the UK and GAMSTOP. The affiliates explained that the glitches prevent gamblers from joining UK platforms even after their GAMSTOP time-out has ended.
It was also found out that some of the affiliates use the logo of anti-gambling regulators like GamCare, GambleAware, and UKGC while they operate and promote the non-GAMSTOP platforms.
The increasing number of abusive affiliates show how lax Google’s restrictions in accessing its AdWords platform.
It shows that companies are free to access the platform and post their advertisements regardless of the content. The UK government is urging gamblers to follow government restrictions for their security against problem gambling.
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