UKGC ban on credit cards

Why Did The UKGC Ban Credit Card Payments in Gambling?

7 min

Credit card usage in gambling can fuel the players’ addiction, deepen debts and create an unsafe gameplay environment.

The ban was applied as a safety measure, so the rule does not include lottery tickets and scratch card purchases. Read on and find out why UK credit-card gambling transactions are now banned.

Why were credit cards banned in the UK’s gambling industry?

Why were credit cards banned by the UKGC

The risks of problem gamblers increasing their debts and worsening their addiction were the main reasons for banning credit cards in online and land-based gambling establishments.

One of the main aims of the UKGC is to protect players from the negative repercussions caused or worsened by gambling, so the authority has been determined to take strict measures to facilitate safer gameplay.

Official research shows concerning results

Official problem gambling statistics are concerning

  • It showed that around 24 million adults in the UK gamble, with over 10 million of them gambling online;
  • Additional research undertaken by the commission showed that 22% of online players using such cards to gamble were classed as problem gamblers;
  • Meanwhile, UK Finance estimated that 800,000 consumers used credits to gamble.

Thus, the UKGC enacted the ban to protect players from borrowing money and using it to gamble.

Additional safety measures you can take

Alternative safety measures

If you’re gambling at a newly launched UK casino, double-check the platform’s reliability via the UKGC licensee register and third-party auditors. This also applies to mobile casino sites.

Why isn’t credit card gambling UK allowed?

The low number of credit card gambling sites UK is determined by the major impact credits can have on a player’s health.

As such:

  • Credit can cause gambling harm by allowing you to spend more than you have;
  • 22% of problem gamblers use credits to gamble;
  • High credit card borrowing rates can increase the problem;
  • By banning credits, the UKGC ensures you are exposed to fewer potential gambling harms, like debt.

Players have been putting themselves in danger for a rather long time to be able to enjoy casino games, and this has had a wide-scale impact on their well-being.

What’s the use of banning credit cards?

Reasons for banning credit cards in gambling

Without the enforcement of stern measures like the credit card ban, the UK gambling industry would have generated tremendously harmful consequences long-term.

Report on credit card gambling UK

Credit Card Gambling Stats Data
Total no. of UK players Approx. 24 million
Online casino players Approx. 10.5 million
Credit gamblers Approx. 800,000 – 1 million
% of problem gamblers using credits 22%

Credit gambling UK users

The UK is home to 24 million gamblers: it’s a robust market full of numerous land-based and online casinos, and one of the leading gambling jurisdictions globally.

Out of all the players:

  • More than 10.5 million gamblers choose to play at UK-licensed online casinos, especially via UK casino apps;
  • 800.000 – 1.000.000 have so far used credit to fund their accounts;
  • The UKGC acknowledged that numerous players appealed to credit gambling UK when participating in betting activities. For more than 150.000 – 220.000 gamblers (22%), credit cards served as a source of additional money to gamble.

22% Of problem gamblers use credit

How many gamblers use credit cards

In the face of such evidence that credit card gambling allowed problem gamblers to access additional funds, the UKGC’s Chief Executive announced that:

  • Major financial harm can be done by allowing credit card gambling;
  • The interdiction is meant to minimize the consumers’ harm risks;
  • Besides involving significant debts, credit card gambling can be worsened by the fees charged when using credit cards.

There are now no gambling sites that accept such cards in the UK due to this enforced rule.

Why were credit cards banned UK?

Problem gambling is a grave issue in the UK: the latest figures show that 0.4% of the adult population in the United Kingdom has a gambling problem.

22% of problem gamblers used credits to gamble.

This essentially means using money you do not have and borrowing it at high-interest rates in hope of winning to be able to pay it off.

A typical example of the circular nature of problem gambling

  • In many cases, players didn’t win, which led to the accumulation of debt;
  • This encouraged excessive gambling in an attempt to solve the debt.

By eliminating credit gambling UK, the ability to gamble easily using credit is removed and, therefore, the risk and harm to players. As the percentage of credit gambling UK by problem gamblers was high, a complete ban was considered appropriate for safeguarding everyone involved.

Where can you gamble with a credit card?

Country Credit card gambling allowed
Ireland No
United States Depends on the state
Canada Yes
Australia Yes
New Zealand Yes
Europe Depends on the State

Are there any gambling sites that accept credit cards UK?

What gambling sites accept credit cards

According to the UKGC, the credit ban applies to all UK gambling businesses, including:

  • Online betting, casino and bingo sites;
  • Online lotteries and lotteries accepting payments over the telephone;
  • High street bookmakers and track bookmakers;
  • High street casinos, bingo halls and arcades.

Thus, if you’re wondering whether you can use credit at the casino, the answer is no.

You can’t use it to bet under any circumstances, including land-based casino betting. In short, there are no credit card gambling sites UK, regardless of whether they feature live casino services or not.

New Gambling Laws UK 2022

New gambling regulations UK

The UKGC continually works on improving regulations for operators in response to recent research and industry innovation.

This is what makes the UK one of the safest places to gamble. On April 14th, 2022, the UKGC announced further new rules that will come into effect on September 12th, 2022.

Safety measures that gambling sites can impose

Safety measures imposed by casinos

  • Monitoring indications of gambling harm;
  • Flagging signs of harm and taking timely action;
  • Implementing an automatic process for strong indicators of harm;
  • Prohibiting marketing campaigns and bonuses dedicated to at-risk players;
  • Evaluating the operators’ marketing strategies and interactions with consumers at risk;
  • Evidence of such evaluations;
  • Ensuring that third-party (affiliates) of operators comply.

The UK is also in the midst of a Gambling Review, which will update the 2005 Gambling Act for the modern internet age with sweeping industry reforms.

While the new laws are not yet formulated, the official White Paper detailing the recommendations is in the final stages.

The purpose of the new regulations

The new laws are expected to cover affordability checks for players, potential per-player budgets, and many other areas.

Gambling sites that accept credit cards UK

What casinos accept credit cards

There are now no credit card gambling sites UK. Any licensed, secure gambling site will not offer credit use directly or through e-wallets. Playing on a UK-licensed site is essential, as this is where you’ll find tested games, regulated payouts, and secure real-money service.


Are there any Mastercard gambling restrictions?

You cannot use Mastercard credit cards on UK gambling sites. You may only use a Mastercard debit card, either through an e-wallet, online transfer, or direct deposit.

Can you gamble with PayPal credit?

You cannot get PayPal credit and can only use money you already have in your PayPal account. Moreover, e-wallets must ensure that money used for gambling transactions is not loaded from credits.

Can you buy scratch cards with a debit card UK?

Yes, you can buy scratch cards and other gambling products using a UK debit card.

Can I buy a lottery ticket with a credit card UK?

You can still use a credit card to buy lottery and scratch cards in person if purchased alongside another product. The UKGC believes it would be unfair to prevent ticket sales as part of a wider shop. Ticket sales via post are also allowed.

What gambling sites accept credit cards UK?

There are no credit card gambling sites UK. You will not find any legal UK casinos or sportsbooks accepting such cards.
Tudor Turiceanu
AuthorTudor TuriceanuCEO & Chief Editor at CasinoAlpha

Tudor Turiceanu uses his multiple systematic skillsets to oversee and coordinate the CasinoAlpha project. He assists the authors in creating a transparent gambling niche for users. As a CEO and Chief Editor with broad knowledge, Tudor knows the importance of transmitting confident advice.