UK Gov. Must Force All Banks To Block Gambling Transactions

Monzo Bank has sent in a letter to Nigel Huddleston who is leading the review on the 2005 Gambling Act and asked the Sports Minister to consider making it mandatory for all banks across the UK to offer their customers the option to block gambling related transactions on their debit cards.

All UK Banks Must Comply

Gambling addiction has turned into a big problem for the UK during the last 5 years as the numbers have grown alarmingly in both adults and children. The UK government and the UK gambling regulator have been under pressure to do more to stem the flow of gambling addiction.

The UK government commissioned a review of the outdated 2005 Gambling Act and Huddleston and his team are expected to make significant changes. Monzo believes that it is essential for UK banks to offer blocking services based on what it has seen with its own customer base.

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Monzo offers its customers the option to impose a self-ban on debit card transactions that are used to fund their gambling habits. So far more than 275,000 Monzo customers have used the gambling block and stats show that less than 10 percent of these customers have deactivated the ban after having it installed.

So far 8 major banks in the UK have rolled out different services to help their customers combat gambling addiction tendencies. Monzo believes that the UK government needs to make it mandatory for the gambling blocking service to be made available to all UK banking customers.

GambleAware shares a similar view as a report published in 2020 shows that forty percent of current account holders (28 million) do not have access to gambling blocking services while another forty percent were not even aware that such a service exists with UK banks.

No Loot Box Transactions As Well

Monzo has also called for transactions to be blocked when it involves video games with loot boxes. The debate over loot boxes in UK and around the world continues to be a highly debated topic as video game developers do not concede that loot box games constitute as gambling while gambling opponents claim that loot boxes are similar to gambling.

Monzo claims that loot boxes allow for in-play transactions that are very similar to gambling and must be addressed during the 2005 Gambling Act review. The Betting & Gaming Council also supported Monzo and said that they were in favour of giving customers the option to adopt blocking features and protect themselves from gambling harm.