Operators are reminded not to accept customer deposits from credit cards via e-wallets

United Kingdom

The Gambling Commission has issued a reminder to operators that e-wallets cannot be used to accept payments from customers unless operators are satisfied that e-wallet users cannot top up their accounts using a credit card and then use that money for gambling.

This reminder follows the Commission’s ban on credit cards, which came into force on 14 April 2020. Following this change, operators were no longer able to accept credit cards as a means of payment by players. The rule was implemented by way of a new licence condition 6.1.2 in the Commission’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).

The Commission’s consultation response in respect of the ban stated that the new licence condition also imposed a responsibility on operators to only accept payments via e-wallets in circumstances where the wallet provider could assure the operator that they could prevent payment for gambling by credit card.

The update, which was issued on 10 June 2020, applies to deposits via all Money Service Businesses (MSBs), including e-wallets and other electronic money institutions enabling e-money transfers.  The Commission stressed that it was important that the credit card ban couldn’t be side-stepped by allowing players to make payments via a service that permitted credit card usage for gambling.

In its further guidance, the Commission specifically referred to the banking provider Revolut, which allows its customers to transfer money into their Revolut account from credit cards. However, it is clear that the rules apply to all MSBs. 

This is confirmation from the Commission that operators must not accept any payment through an MSB unless the MSB has prevented the use of credit cards for gambling through their services.

The Commission stressed that it was the obligation of operators, as opposed to MSBs, to comply with this rule. Therefore, operators must:

  • satisfy themselves that users of an MSB cannot fund their accounts or e-wallets with credit card deposits which can be used for gambling; and
  • reject all payments made through any MSBs that have not developed a “block” to prevent credit card deposits being used for gambling.