Online casinos accept a variety of payment methods, but one such method has become controversial in recent years. Credit cards have affected the gambling community so negatively that the UK resorted to banning them.
As of April 2020, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission enacted the credit card ban for online gambling and all casinos. According to the BBC, the ban followed reports of users experiencing overwhelming debt and resulting mental health issues.
Players still have plenty of alternative payment methods, however, including e-wallets, debit cards, prepaid cards, and direct bank transfers. To learn more about these options, check out this article.
The obvious risk of gambling with a credit card is overspending. When you borrow money you don’t have, you risk spending more than you can pay back.
Credit cards provide easy access to funds, encouraging you to spend more. When you run low on physical cash or see your bank account actively depleting with each purchase, you’re more likely to think about the consequences of your actions. But, credit cards are invisible money.
So, you’re less likely to grasp the repercussions. Gambling with credit cards is very dangerous, especially to people already struggling with addiction.
Gambling with credit cards also leads to extra fees. Many credit card agreements list gambling as a cash advance or cash equivalent in the fine print. This label allows companies to charge additional fees.
Credit card companies may charge you a cash advance fee. This charge is a one-time fee ranging from 3-5% of the total amount, typically charged when you take an advance.
Cash advances often have different and higher interest rates than standard purchases. A company that charges 14% normally might charge 25% for an advance.
Typically, creditors offer a grace period. You will have at least 20 days to pay off purchases before they charge you interest. Cash advances have no grace period.
As soon as you get a cash advance, the credit card company begins charging interest. With interest already high, you can end up owing a lot of money very quickly.
Most credit cards have rewards, such as cashback or travel points. But, companies that consider gambling a cash equivalent don’t offer rewards for these transactions.
Credit cards have many restrictions in regards to gambling. These restrictions can be frustrating for players and make using credit cards difficult.
Banks decline Visa and Mastercard transactions from casinos about half of the time. Typically banks reject these cards because they haven’t accepted gambling as a valid purchase. Even some large banks refuse to accept Visa and Mastercard transactions from casinos.
Some card companies block payments to online casinos in specific countries, depending on that country's gambling laws.
Several casinos don’t accept American Express. Plus, American Express doesn’t allow Pay Over Time for gambling transactions. So, you can’t finance these purchases, even with interest.
You shouldn't use a credit card as payment for online casinos. This method carries higher chances of overspending, extra fees, and more restrictions than other payment options. These risks outweigh any potential benefits. Consider looking into better payment options if you don’t want to end up in massive debt. That way, you can be sure that you’re staying within your budget and just have fun.
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