David Williams | 19 Jul 2018
This year has seen a lot of emphasis being placed on the issue of problem gambling, and an attempt by many role-players in the iGaming and casino industry to limit the effects thereof. 3rd Party providers have also been doing their bit to try and aid where possible, with the latest of these being mobile banks in the United Kingdom.
Effective immediately, mobile banks in the UK now provide a service to customers whereby they are able to block any gambling-related payment and withdrawal transactions. Typically, someone who has identified that they, themselves, may have a gambling problem, would have had to contact each and every betting and iGaming provider individually, in order to ad their names onto a blocked player list.
This was obviously a major administrative burden, and one can see how someone would be able to become easily dissuaded in order to effectively ban themselves from making use of iGaming services in general.
UK mobile banks, Monzo and Starling, have now made it much easier for their customers to take control of their gambling problems. Via a mobile app that has been introduced by the banks, customers are now able to activate a setting that identifies whenever they are trying to pay for a service at a gambling-related service provider.
What’s more, it’s not a case of there being a thousand options to navigate either; the mobile app will simply cause the transaction to be declined.
It is possible for the blocking feature to be deactivated, but the deactivation process is a lengthy one, requiring the customer to answer a series of questions relating to their overall health in general, their gambling habits as well as why they opted to activate the feature in the first place. What’s more, a 48-hour waiting period is applied. This can be very effective as a cooling off period, giving the customer the opportunity to property consider their actions and whether they really want to go ahead with the deactivation.
The mobile app will also display a message suggesting that the customer seek help and assistance from the National Gambling Helpline.
Initiatives such as this one can go a long way towards assisting people to combat problem gambling, as an addiction to gambling often leads to financial issues. People tend to alternate between spending too much money on entertainment services, to spending money that they don’t really have to spend in the first place. It will be interesting to see if this initiative takes off, and if other county’s financial institutions follow suit.