People are to be banned from using credit cards to place bets, the Gambling Commission has said.
The ban, which starts on 14 April, comes after reviews of the industry by the commission and the government. Commission research shows that 22% of online
gamblers using credit cards are classed as problem gamblers.
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.
We realise that this change will inconvenience those consumers who use credit cards responsibly, but we are satisfied that reducing the risk
of harm to other consumers means that action must be taken.
The ban will apply to all online and offline gambling products except lotteries that are run for good causes. These lotteries will have to provide a significant layer of
additional protection to vulnerable people. The commission said that tickets for these lotteries, as well as for the National Lottery, can be bought using credit cards in supermarkets and newsagents as long as they are purchased with other products.
Australia's internet censor will block gambling websites hosted offshore under new powers now in effect. Gamblers have been warned by The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to withdraw their funds now from any unlicensed overseas
gambling sites before they are blocked.
Internet gambling sites such as Emu Casino and FairGo Casino which are run from Curacao in the Caribbean will be among the first to be blocked, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
ACMA said on Monday it
will ask ISPs to block websites in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 using new internet censorship powers now in effect. ACMA chair Nerida O'Loughlin said
In many cases these sites refuse to pay significant
winnings, or only a small portion. Customers had also experienced illegal operators continuing to withdraw funds from their bank account without authorisation. There is little to no recourse for consumers engaging with these unscrupulous operators. If
you have funds deposited with an illegal gambling site, you should withdraw those funds now.
ACMA publishes a list of licensed gambling services where people can check if online gambling websites are licensed in Australia on their
The argument about loot boxes being gambling is very tiresome. The debate about whether they are akin to gambling has become more important than the debate about how to keep children safe. Surely
Loot boxes can be deemed an unacceptable monetisation method for children on its own merits, without trying to match apples to pears.
Longfield seems a bit new to the job, she is now calling for small games to be fully vetted by censors when this
approach was given up ten years ago due to the unmanageable volume and unviable economics of expensive censors checking small games.
She is also dreaming that age verification is some sort of panacea for all societies ills. Parents generally know
exactly what age their kids are, but the knowledge doesn't magically make for an idyllic childhood.
Anne Longfield, the Children's Commissioner for England, has published a report, Gaming the system' which looks at the experiences
of children who play games online. The Children's Commissioner's Office commissioned the research company Revealing Reality to speak to groups of children who play online games like FIFA, Fortnite and Roblox about what they love and what worries them
about gaming, both to shine a light on their experiences and to inform policy recommendations.
With 93% of children in the UK playing video games, the Children's Commissioner is today calling for new rules to tighten up gambling
laws and to address the worries children have expressed about how they feel out of control of their spending on online games.
However, it also reveals the drawbacks, in particular highlighting how many children are spending money
on 'in-game' purchases because they feel they have to in order to keep up with friends or to advance in the game.
The report also shows how some children feel addicted to gaming and do not feel in control of the amount of time
they spend playing games. Younger children told us they are playing games for an average of two to three hours a day, whereas older children are playing for three or more hours.
To address the concerns raised by children in the
report, the Children's Commissioner makes a number of recommendations, including:
Bringing financial harm within the scope of the Government's forthcoming online harms legislation. Developers and platforms should not enable children to progress within a game by spending money and spending should be limited to
items which are not linked to performance.
All games which allow players to spend money should include features for players to track their historic spend, and there should be maximum daily spend limits introduced in all games
which feature in-game spending and turned on by default for children.
The Government should take immediate action to amend the definition of gaming in section 6 of the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate loot boxes as gambling.
The Government's age appropriate design code must include provisions on nudge techniques and detrimental use of data, as proposed in the draft code.
Games that are distributed online should be
subject to a legally enforceable age-rating system, just as physical games are. There should be a requirement for an additional warning to be displayed for games which facilitate in-game spending. The Government should consult on whether age ratings of
all games should be moderated pre-release, just as physical games are.
Online games should be a key focus of digital citizenship lessons in schools, rather than lessons focusing exclusively on social media. Teachers involved
in the delivery of these lessons should be familiar with how key online games that are popular with children work.