Monzo: make all UK banks offer gambling blocks

Monzo was one of the first banks to introduce a gambling block tool.
Monzo was one of the first banks to introduce a gambling block tool.

Monzo is calling for legislation to force all UK banks to offer gambling blocks and to create a registry of gaming companies’ account numbers.

UK.- The online bank Monzo has added its voice to calls for all UK banking providers to be required by law to offer blocks on gambling transactions.

The bank’s chief executive, TS Anil, has joined gambling charities and members of academia and health services in putting his name to a letter sent to the sports minister Nigel Huddleston

The letter calls for all banks to be made to offer gambling blocks and for gambling operators to be obliged to disclose their account details to a central registry in order to allow gambling blocks to be extended to cover bank transfers in addition to card payments.

It also calls on the government to investigate the possibility of blocking payments for loot boxes in video games.

The letter reads: “Ultimately, the Gambling Act review offers a unique opportunity to create a world-leading self-exclusion framework in the UK to reduce gambling harms, and help consumers gain control of their finances.

“The rise in online gambling, and new ways to pay, requires a robust response from the Government.

“These small changes, in combination with other, existing self-exclusion tools, would help the UK to create world-leading harm-reduction standards.

“We believe the Government should take the opportunity afforded by the Gambling Act review to make sure every consumer in the UK can access these blocks – regardless of who they bank with.

“These tools are simple to build, proven to work, and will help protect hundreds of thousands of people.”

See also: HSBC extends gambling block cooling-off period

The letter notes that at least eight major banks in the UK now offer some form of gambling block but that the current tools only work on certain types of accounts or cards.

Monzo has said that 275,000 of its customers actively use its gambling block tool and that fewer than 10 per cent have deactivated it after its activation. 

The letter was also signed by executives from NHS Northern Gambling Service, the National Problem Gambling Clinic, Gamban and Gamfam, along with Sharon Collard, chief executive research director at theUniversity of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre.

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