Gambling Charity Calls For Improvements in Bank Card Blocking System

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A gambling charity recently called for actions with regards to the current state of bank card blocking system in the United Kingdom. The group said that the system is not effective and needs to be updated.

Moreover, the group said that a recent study finds out that 40% of current account holders do not benefit from the system.

A research conducted for the GambleAware foundation revealed that only eight financial companies in the UK offer customers an option to block all future payments to a particular gambling website. The group added that this system should be implemented widely in order to help problem gamblers.

A system to help problem gamblers

Researchers have found on multiple study that the option to block payments to gambling websites greatly help people with gambling problems. This is a great tool especially for those whose gambling habits are getting out of control. Estimates reveal that problem gambling is costing the government more than £1.2 billion annually and has a lasting effect to the lives of the people it affect.

The researchers from personal finance center of University of Bristol found out that many financial companies do not implement bank card blocking system. Moreover, some banks do have this system but the option can be turned off quite easily.

Two notable banks, Capital One and Nationwide, do not offer this bank card blocking system as a standard feature of its banking services. Of the eight banks that do have the system implemented, three of these banks can have this particular option be turned off easily.

University of Bristol professor Sharon Collard said:

“Our research has found bank card gambling blockers are not available on roughly 40% of personal current accounts. This means an estimated 28 million people are missing out on this crucial tool to block gambling expenditure which helps protect them from harm.”

Improvements of gambling laws

Many researchers believe that systems such as the bank card blocker are just one aspect of minimizing the effect of problem gambling. Experts believe that for the country to really eradicate or at least contain the problem, gambling laws should also evolve.

Recently, Lords of the UK parliament issued a new directive. The Lords ordered that video game loot boxes should be considered as gambling elements. According to their research, video game loot boxes are considered a gateway mechanism to gambling and its staggering appeal to the younger generation is a threat.

As a result of these issues, ministers of the parliament are calling for a review of the 2005 Gambling Act. Many in the government believe that the gambling laws which were formulated more than a decade ago are no longer relevant in the digital age.

Some ministers have noted that these gambling laws should be amended in such a way that they are now applicable. Some have pointed out that the 2005 Gambling Act does not have enough regulatory power especially when it comes to digital and online gambling. Moreover, gambling elements like video game loot boxes are not even mentioned on it.

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