On April 14th, 2020, the use of credit cards will be banned for online and offline gambling in the United Kingdom. What is your take on this and do you see other countries following suit with this?
I see this as a good thing, playing safely and responsibly is important for a fair and fun online and offline experience, and hopefully it can help towards stopping gambling related harm before it even starts.
My concern is how it will affect existing gamblers, and the ways they will try to get around the credit card ban. I hope other countries will follow suit, people really shouldn’t be playing with money they can’t afford to lose.
In the UK, what is your take that credit card gambling ban applies to all gambling except lotteries?
This is a tough one, as some people believe that those who play lotteries and scratch cards are less likely to experience gambling related disorders, and the assumption is that lottery customers usually spend less in comparison. However consider this: when there’s a delay between a stake and the potential reward, which is the case of most lottery products, there’s the common conception that the product has less potential to produce gambling related harm. But things are not always that simple.
There are other factors that we need to take into consideration such as the early exposure to gambling in the form of lotteries and scratch cards, from a young age. Early exposure to gambling can make young people more vulnerable to gambling related harm in the future. (Gateway hypothesis of gambling). I think there’s a case to consider increasing the age for participation in these forms of gambling.
With more and more restrictions being placed on operators in markets like the United Kingdom and in Sweden, do you think this is going to allow for more black market competition?
Unfortunately yes, we’re seeing a rise in people targeting customers to play at unregulated casinos. Which isn’t safe for anyone, customers or affiliates. It is likely if your affiliate commissions go missing you won’t see it again and there’s little that you can do about it. Same goes for player funds, if something goes wrong it’s likely you’ll not see them again.
I also think we’ll see a shift in casinos spreading their brands and marketing campaigns across more markets rather than trying to dominate one market. I think everyone has learned a hard lesson from the regulation in Sweden.
How do you think affiliates have to navigate some of these new rules and changes happening within the industry?
Like operators, affiliates should be navigating in these new rules and changes by looking at expanding their reach to more than just one or two markets. Especially if they want to safeguard their business.
Most importantly for affiliates is to work with the operators and keep everything as up to date as possible from documentation to software and everything in between, and find better ways of working and moving forward – together.