GamCare is a gambling charity that works on improving the gambling experience for customers and helping the iGaming industry to provide a safe environment for its players.
GamCare has urged for a more unified response to access the gambling blocks and loopholes in its recent Gambling Related Financial Harm workshop.
In the workshop, the firm identified several ways in which a self-excluded gambler can deposit to an online operator. It highlights the need that banks must have more information and operators must take more preventive steps to enhance their protection.
Sue Shilling, Customer Protection Executive at NatWest, says, “Tackling gambling-related harm is an important way of building people’s long-term financial capability and enabling them to thrive for more. ”
She continues to add, “Our 48-hour gambling block is one step that we’ve taken to equip people with practical tools to support their recovery, and through our work, with GamCare, we’re actively committed to finding new and better ways to help customers access the support they might need. ”
In the GamCare workshop, an idea was communicated to create a central registry of bank account details that are associated with gambling operators which could be provided to the financial services.
The firm suggested the idea of a central registry because faster payments to gambling operators are also not currently included by the gambling blocks.
It was also introduced in the workshop that the gambling blocks similar to those applied by the majority of banks in the UK should be introduced by e-wallet with a cross-referral system between the bank and partners such as TalkBanStop pilot, Gamstop, and Gamban. These partners would need sufficient endorsement to carry out the plan.
The workshop recommended that there is a high time to raise awareness of dangers associated with unregulated gamblers. A mechanism should be developed to report when the gambling block fails. The firm referenced that monitoring of new payment methods which could not be traced by gambling blocks should be introduced.
Financial Harm manager at GamCare, Raminta Diliso, explained, “Year on year, around 70% of callers to our National Gambling Helpline mention some level of gambling debt and financial hardship. For those trying to stop gambling, banking blocks offer an invaluable layer of protection, but people that use our services have reported that they have managed to circumvent the blocks. ”
“Whilst different payment methods offered by gambling operators give a lot of flexibility for customers, it can also leave them vulnerable to gambling harm when these payment methods are not subject to gambling blocks. ”
She continues, “We’re pleased that so many organizations have shown interest in this issue, and we would like to see a collaborative cross-sector response to drive through several additional changes to further protect people from gambling-related harm. ”
There were more than 45 financial representatives from various sectors like payment systems, banks, the debt advisor sector, electronic money institutions, gambling business partners, and gambling support services.
Gamblers who have experienced gambling harm in their gambling history have also attended the workshop to recognize some practical solutions to provide a safer gambling landscape to themselves and other vulnerable gamblers.
Head of vulnerable customers at Monzo, Natalie Ledward, added, “Monzo was the first bank in the UK to launch a gambling block. Since then more than 300,000 of our customers have used it, with less than 10% turning it off. ”
She continues to address in the workshop, “With more and more gambling companies offering new ways to pay, we’re working to make sure our gambling blocks cover all of these new payment options. This year, we piloted an extension block with TrueLayer, to help extend our block to cover open banking payments. “