UKGC issues full public guidance on gambling block services

By | February 22, 2021

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has launched its new consumer guidance campaign, providing the general public with a full breakdown of the ‘gambling block services’ currently offered by highstreet and digital banks.

The campaign forms part of the UKGC’s new ‘money and rights’ section launched at the start of the year, providing the public with detailed information with regards to their consumer rights and options when engaging with gambling businesses.

Within its new section, the UKGC provides a full breakdown of the gambling block services and further safer gambling support tools, currently offered by nine UK highstreet banks – Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, MBNA, Natwest, RBS and Santander. 

The list is completed by the safer gambling features offered by the fast growth digital banking apps of Starling and Monzo.

Though the majority of UK banks have added gambling block components to their bank account services, there are still some notable exceptions of incumbents that offer no current safer gambling protections, including Citibank, Co-operative, Nationwide, Standard Chartered, Metro Bank and Virgin Money.

The responsibilities of financial services in ensuring safer gambling protections have been placed as a key element of the government’s ongoing review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Last week, TS Anil – the new Chief Executive of Monzo – published an open letter to DCMS stating that the government must enforce an increased responsibility on safer gambling duties by financial services providers. 

Working in partnership with Fintech compliance specialist TrueLayer, Monzo disclosed that it had begun trailing its proprietary gambling block service as a new open banking API feature.

The partnership aims to develop a ‘universal gambling block’ for all financial services (banks, credit cards, e-wallets, loans, etc) which will be available for all financial services to integrate as a mandatory requirement.