UKGC ban on Credit Card deposits comes into effect – April 14th 2020

New credit card regulations are now in place

Bookmaker News

The new Gambling Commission UK regulations on betting with credit cards started today, April 14th 2020.

Bookmakers are no longer allowed to accept deposits to players’ accounts through credit cards.

This is the result of a public consultation which happened last year.

Ban addresses problem gambling

Around 24 million adults in Great Britain gamble. Around 10.5 million of those, according to the review of online gambling which was done by the Commission last year, do their wagering online.

UK Finance made an estimate which stated that 800,000 consumers were using credit cards to gamble with*.

The Gambling Commission estimated that 22% of online users doing their wagering through credit cards fell into the area of being problem gamblers**.

April 14th sees the big change start

So April 14th, 2020 is when the ban on credit cards for wagering kicks in. The ban applies to all online and offline gambling products. The one exception for that is non-remote lotteries like the National Lottery.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said:

“Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.

“Research shows that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards are problem gamblers, with even more suffering some form of gambling harm.

‘“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability. There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent.”

What the ban means for players

So no longer is a player able to use the money borrowed from a credit card company to do their online gambling with.

That option is now totally off the board. To keep their licenses, bookmakers have to follow the regulations of course.

So simply put, the option won’t be there to fund betting accounts through credit cards any more. That doesn’t mean the credit card will vanish from a player’s account, however.

What about funds already deposited through a credit card?

Customers should contact their online bookmaker to clarify what happens with funds that had been deposited through a credit card before the ban started.

But the rule of thumb is that any funds that did hit accounts before the ban, can still be played with.

Withdrawals of any balance funded by credit cards should still be able to go back to a credit card as well. The bookmaker should not delete your credit card on file. That’s because it can still be used to withdraw to.

For funding, the guideline is to go into the betting account. Then use a valid alternative payment method. If you are unsure, contact the bookmaker.

So what funding options will there be for players?

Debit Cards

The ban does NOT apply to debit cards. That’s because they are pre-funded with a person’s own money. It means that a player is only playing with money that they already have and are not borrowing it to play with (as with a credit card).


Players are still able to fund accounts through e-wallets like Paypal, ApplePay and Skrill. However, there is a little caveat to this. If a player is trying to fund a betting account through an e-wallet which is attempting to draw the funds from a credit card, then that will not be allowed.

It’s common to have credit cards linked to e-wallets of course. But that is not a loophole which can be exposed. So e-wallet funding has to be through an existing balance or have the linked funds coming from a debit card or a bank account.

Bank Transfers

Bank Transfers remain in place and it is a safe and secure process. Fast bank transfers can be done through Trustly if your bank supports that. Using a service like Trustly drastically speeds up what otherwise used to be a bit of a slow process.

Mobile Payments – a potential grey area

Some bookmakers do accept Mobile Payments through BOKU. That is a platform where the charges are issued by your mobile phone company. Any charges issued through there simply appear on a phone bill.

So this is an option which is still possible, but in light of the current regulations now banning the borrowing of funds from a credit card, this may come under scrutiny.

Essentially a player funding an account through BOKU is borrowing money to play with and the UK Gambling Commission is probably going to be taking a look at that in the future.

Data sources

*800,000 consumers in the UK used a UK-issued credit card for gambling in 2018. Data source UK Finance.

** Online gamblers using credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers – with more at some risk of harm. Data source: gambling participation research, March 2019. The research was conducted online by Populus and covered a representative sample of c.2000 adults, of whom c.150 had reported using a credit card to gamble online.