Gambling Commission Ban On Use of Credit Cards
Further to our recent circular on the forthcoming restrictions being imposed by The Gambling Commission and the acceptance of credit card usage within our sector, several members have contacted us looking for further clarity with regards to how it affects their operation and what ‘exceptions’ may apply to this legislation. The Gambling Commission have banned the use of credit cards for all gambling with the only exception of non-remote lottery transactions.
Basically, what it means, is that, as from 14th April 2020, NO-ONE can ACCEPT Credit Card Transactions by telephone or online for ANY ACTIVITY conducted under the legislation covered by your Gambling Commission Licence.
Lottery Operators can continue to accept payments by credit cards if the transaction is not classed as remote – e.g. in person or by post.
The Good News however, is that this change in the regulations does NOT APPLY to DEBIT CARD Transactions (which virtually Everyone with a credit card has also), so hopefully this will have minimal impact – if any – upon your operation.
Out Top Legal Experts (Andrew and Sarah from Woods Whur) will be at our forthcoming Conference on 18th & 19th March along with several ‘familiar and helpful faces’ from The Gambling Commission this year, so please do come along and put any questions / comments to them that you may have - I believe that there are still just a few places remaining before the ‘Sold Out’ signs are put up again for 2020 – and ensure that ‘Your Voice’ is heard and that your operations remains fully compliant within the legislation of your Gambling Commission Licence.
Gambling Commission announcement 14th January 2020 on credit cards - Details for the Lotteries Sector
The Gambling Commission has today announced the outcome of the consultation into the use of credit cards in gambling, including lotteries.
While we won the argument about non-remote lotteries, for which credit cards can continue to be accepted, the Commission have chosen to ignore the argument that banning the use of credit cards for remote lotteries was excessive in view of the low level of risk involved. From 14 April 2020, therefore, all operators of remote lotteries will not be able to accept payment by credit card, including payments by credit card through PayPal and other e-wallet providers.
Further details can be found at https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/News/gambling-on-credit-cards-to-be-banned-from-april-2020.
The Commission have stated: “We acknowledge the consultation responses from the lotteries sector which generally argued that subscription and lower frequency lotteries do not have the same potential rates of loss as other forms of gambling, and that society lotteries are associated with lower incidences of harm.
However, our key concern is that gambling with a credit card can facilitate high levels of gambling debt, and for people at risk of harm this could be a cumulative gambling debt across a number of operators and types of gambling. We note from our research that those who use credit cards for online gambling tend to be highly engaged gamblers who gamble on several different activities - and that while online betting and gaming are the most prevalent forms of gambling activity for them, they are more likely to participate in a full range of gambling opportunities including gaming machines and online lottery participation. Therefore, individuals who are at the greatest risk of harm from credit card gambling may be using their cards across multiple gambling platforms – and accruing more debt than they can afford to repay – across a range of operators and products including lotteries.
In order to minimise the risks of harm to those credit cards gamblers and their families, we have therefore decided to include remote lotteries as part of the ban on credit cards alongside other forms of gambling.”
The ban on accepting credit card payments for gambling, including remote payments for lottery participation, will come into effect three months from today, on 14 April. This means that remote society lottery, ancillary lottery and remote ELM licensees will not be able to accept credit card payments – e.g. where payments are made online or via telephone – from this date.
One means of preventing credit card payments is for operators – or their payment processors or acquiring bank – to identify credit cards via the card’s Issuer Identification Number (the IIN, which is the first 6 to 9 digits of the number across the front of a card and which allows the merchant or acquirer to identity whether a card is credit, debit or pre-paid, and to identify the issuing bank). The payment processor or acquirer, on the operator’s (merchant’s) request, could then ensure that any card identified as a credit card is prevented from moving through the payment gateway. Some operators may be able to put this system into effect at their end of the payment gateway without the need to ask their processor/acquirer. However, where this is not the case, we would suggest that societies contact their payment processor or their acquiring bank to understand how they could prevent credit card payments.
The ban will also apply to credit card payments made through e-wallets. The Commission has been advised that that the major wallet providers such as PayPal will be able to put measures into effect to prevent credit card payments for gambling. Operators will be responsible for only accepting payments through an e-wallet where the operator can be assured by the wallet provider that it can prevent gambling payments by credit card. We therefore suggest that members also contact any e-wallet providers whose wallets they make available to their customers for online lottery ticket purchases, to ensure they understand how the wallet provider intends to proceed.
The Commission have clarified their announcement about GAMSTOP. All operators of online instant win lotteries must participate in the GAMSTOP self-exclusion scheme. Further details can be found at https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2020/Online-operators-required-to-participate-in-multi-operator-self-exclusion-scheme-GAMSTOP-from-March.aspx.
Lotteries Council welcome record year of charity fundraising
New Gambling Commission stats show sales increase for both National
Lottery and Charity Lotteries.
The Lotteries Council have today welcomed a record year of fundraising by charity
lotteries as the Gambling Commission published their annual statistics showing that the sector raised
£333.22 million in the year to March 2019, up £32.95 million on the previous year.
The Council also welcomed that National Lottery sales grew by £271.6 million over the year, but
expressed disappointment that the National Lottery funds to good causes have decreased because
they have returned a low percentage return to good causes – 20.6%. This compares to 45.1% from
Welcoming the record year of fundraising Lotteries Council Chair, Tony Vick, praised players of
charity lotteries for helping raise a record amount and said that the growth in sales of both charity
lotteries and the National Lottery showed that the two types of lottery are growing together.
The Lotteries Council, which is made up over 400 charity lottery organisations across Great Britain,
has been encouraging the UK Government to increase the outdated fundraising limits which charity
lotteries operate under, in order to further reduce administration costs and excess bureaucracy, and
raise even more for good causes
Commenting Mr Vick said:
“This has been a great year of charity fundraising by charity lotteries, with charities across the
country benefitting as a result. Our thanks go to charity lottery players across Britain who have
helped the sector make a record amount for good causes.
“The charity lottery sector has a huge amount of fundraising talent within it – both staff and
volunteers – and charities such as hospices, air ambulances, community groups and sports teams
benefit as a result. Given the tight charity fundraising climate this growth in income is very welcome.
“We also welcome that both charity lottery funding and National Lottery sales are on a growth
trajectory, which makes clear that both types of lottery are growing together.”
“The Lotteries Council are calling on the UK Government to bring forward changes in the law to help
charity lotteries to grow their funding to good causes, and these latest statistics further strengthen
the case for those changes.”
Note: The Gambling Commission annual ‘Industry Statistics’ publication can be found here
Government publishes Consultation response
On 16 July 2019, the Government published its long-awaited response to the consultation on society lottery reform conducted in summer 2018.
The Government announced that the annual sales limit would be increased from £10m to £50m. While this is a step in the right direction and is welcomed, the Council has been campaigning for an increase to £100m. The Minister advised that they will be considering an “additional licence tier” under which holders could operate under an annual limit of £100m, but subject to further licence conditions. The Council awaits this proposal with interest.
The limit for individual draws will be raised from £4m to £5m. Again, this is welcomed but is lower than the Council has been campaigning for.
The maximum prize limit will be increased in line with the individual draw limit, to £500,000 retaining the cap of a maximum of 10% of sales. The Council has been campaigning for the abolition of the 10% cap to enable charities to decide on their own prize structures, subject to a limit of £1m on the maximum prize.
The limits above which small society lotteries have to register with the Gambling Commission remain unchanged and there was no mention of any relaxation of the 20% rule for start-ups, for which the Council has also been campaigning.
The full text of the Government’s response can be found here.
The Council’s press release following the announcement can be found here.
The Hilton Warwick was the venue for the recent ‘Lotteries Council Annual Conference and Networking Event 2019’. This annual event continues to afford members the opportunity to listen and learn from sector specialists, speak to suppliers in an exhibitor’s area and network with other organisations within the lotteries sector. The Gambling Commission also facilitate speaker sessions and workshops throughout the two-day conference, providing invaluable advice and information.
We are delighted to announce that Gatherwell were the winners of the ‘Lottery of the Year’ Award, whilst the ‘Special Recognition’ Award was presented to Sue Whitehouse of East Midlands Health CIC. Congratulations to the winners.
The photo gallery from the event is available here
The event was sponsored by Jumbo Interactive - https://www.jumbointeractive.com/