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Financial Services: Gambling

Question for Treasury

UIN 174161, tabled on 23 March 2021

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with (i) the banking sector and (ii) financial regulators on bank-based gambling blocks.

Answered on

30 March 2021

Government ministers and officials regularly engage with the financial services regulators and financial services industry on a number of issues.

The Government recognises the value in voluntary gambling blocks to allow gamblers to self-exclude themselves from making payments to gambling operators. In February 2019, the then DCMS Secretary of State held a roundtable with UK banks, during which the Government set out the merits of gambling blocks.

Since then, there has been considerable progress in this area. Since April 2020, licensed gambling operators in the UK have been prohibited from accepting credit card payments and such payments have been blocked by the largest UK banks. For debit cards, almost all of the largest UK banks, as well as the larger digital banks, now have voluntary gambling block features on their debit cards. This means that consumers have considerable market choice in this area and can choose a current account that has the right features for them.

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