HSBC announced it will allow customers to block iGaming expenses in order to help them prevent potential problem gambling issues.
UK.- Problem gambling is a major issue in the industry, which is why authorities look for ways to prevent it. That’s why HSBC announced iGaming transactions may be blocked by those customers that request to do so.
The bank has 14.5 million UK customers and will allow them to avoid spending in the online market. HSBC’s iGaming block may only be reversed after a 24-hour cooling-off period.
“The financial sector is a key enabler of the gambling industry. Without them online gambling couldn’t exist,” Dr Heather Wardle, gambling behaviour researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said.
“We are committed to helping customers manage their finances. That includes introducing new tools that can help control spending,” said Maxine Pritchard, HSBC’s head of financial inclusion and vulnerability.
“With the bank receiving 12,000 calls a year relating to gambling, it’s clear we should do more to support these customers.”
Kenny Alexander, chief executive of GVC Holdings, discussed a recent report from the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), in which the maximum stake that can be bet on online casinos was criticised. The CEO said that the suggestion to cut the stake limit to £2 is ridiculous.
Alexander talked at the keynote event “Reputation Matters – gambling sector in the spotlight” and said that he is aware that to be sustainable in the industry it is necessary to be responsible. However, he considers that setting a £2 stake limit on online gambling just as the UK did with FOBTs is ridiculous.
Alexander said that a £2 online stake limit would help the black market grow and revive operators based in jurisdictions like Curacao. The CEO recognises that online gambling companies have mechanisms that land-based casinos don’t, and that is why the reduction on FOBTs was necessary, while the one in the online sector isn’t.