Gamcare calls for block on gambling payments from business accounts

GamCare warned of business accounts being used for gambling.
GamCare warned of business accounts being used for gambling.

The charity revealed cases of business accounts being used for gambling payments in a recent workshop.

UK.- GamCare has urged banks to use blocking tools to prevent gambling payments from business accounts. The charity, which runs the UK’s national gambling helpline, warned that it had seen cases of business accounts being used for gambling payments, sometimes leading to significant financial losses.

It noted that some major banks and financial institutions already use blocking tools for gambling payments. Monzo and Tide block gambling transactions by default, while Santander and NatWest offer an opt-in gambling block on request. It says such tools should be used more widely across the banking sector and suggests that banks assess the risks of allowing gambling transactions on business accounts.

GamCare cited data from PayPlan and the Business Debtline, whose information officer, Dawn Jennings, said: “For some of our clients, gambling had put their business under extra financial strain, making it more difficult for them to trade. For others, it has simply led to the closure of their business.”

GamCare also urged enhanced transaction monitoring to help identify gambling harm. It noted that retail banks monitor data to detect unaffordable gambling, and suggested that this should be expanded to business banking.

Financial harm manager Raminta Diliso said: “Gambling harm can be a very hidden issue and it is worrying to hear that some people are financing their gambling through business funds. 

“Business banks need to be aware of the risks of allowing transactions to gambling companies – both for the businesses and for the people running these businesses. Following our event, we have made some practical recommendations so banks can prevent British businesses and people from gambling harm.”

GamCare recently urged UK employers to ensure they provide support options for staff vulnerable to gambling addiction amid the Euro 2024 tournament. It has suggested that workplaces should have safe spaces for workers to discuss any problems with gambling and should be able to direct staff to support services.

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