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GamCare urges banks to raise awareness of gambling blocks

| By Robert Fletcher
British gambling support charity GamCare has called on banks to raise consumer awareness of gambling blocks to help better protect players from harm.
Gambling block

The charity said while blocking options are available across many banks, not all customers are aware of these tools. As such, GamCare said banks should do more to promote the tools to help customers avoid gambling-related harm.

The call was one of a number of recommendations put forward by the charity to improve the blocking tools available.

Recommendations were put forward by a number of parties at GamCare’s recent Gambling Related Financial Harm (GRFH) workshop event.

GamCare calls for more awareness

“Our analysis of bank gambling tools shows that gambling blocks have inconsistent naming conventions across different banking apps,” said Deelan Maru, an advisor from the Behavioural Insights Team. 

“For example, one bank may call it ‘card freeze’, while another would place it under ‘merchant control’ or ‘restriction’ settings – ultimately causing ambiguity and confusion for the consumer. 

“Offering these tools in intuitive locations and adopting consistent naming across the finance sector could help drive awareness and adoption of gambling management tools, ensuring more vulnerable customers are protected from gambling harms.”

Other proposals included banks ensuring they routinely refer customers to external support such as TalkBanStop. This is a joint initiative between GamCare, Gamban and Gamstop.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) also announced the launch of a registry containing bank account details for its members. By implementing this into their systems, the BGC said banks can stop faster payments and transfers to operators when a block is in place.

Meanwhile, the Financial Ombudsman Service urged banks to continuously test and monitor gambling management tools, as well as explore other support options.

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