This page will talk you through the ways in which it is possible to use a credit card to gamble at online casino sites in the United Kingdom, as well as a brief outline of payment methods that you can use instead of a credit card and the relevant benefits of each.
There will be a breakdown of the different methods of accessing online casino sites with a credit card and a discussion of the best credit cards to use when gambling online in the UK.
Naturally with there being extra restrictions on using a credit card to gamble in the UK, it is more difficult to do so and there are some risks attached, so this article will outline where you can expect to encounter these difficulties and how to negotiate them, as well as the best ways to mitigate the risks involved.
There will also be some context on the restrictions which have been put in place and why they have been introduced. This will include the legislation implemented by the UK government, what the measures are designed to achieve and what effects it has had on how people gamble online in the UK.
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Are you allowed to use a credit card for UK online casinos?
New legislation and what it means
The government of the United Kingdom (via the Gambling Commission) announced on 14th January 2020 that as of 14th April 2020 people were to be banned from using a credit card to place bets online in the UK.
The Gambling Commission had been conducting a review of online gambling when it made this announcement. While the review looked into many different aspects of online gambling, there was a particular focus on gambling with credit – which the Gambling Commission sometimes refers to as gambling with borrowed money. This review found that 24.5 million adults gamble in the UK, with 10.5 million of these gambling online. UK Finance found that roughly 800,000 of these people used credit cards to gamble. Research undertaken by the Gambling Commission found that 22% of online gamblers using a credit card to gamble are classed as ‘problem gamblers’.
The same review published by the Gambling Commission stressed that gambling with borrowed money is a risk factor with regards to problem gambling, and as such people’s ability to gamble with credit should be restricted. Therefore the broad purpose of this ban is to prevent vulnerable people from gambling more than they can afford to lose. When announcing the new legislation, Neil McArthur (Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission) added:
“Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.”
“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability. There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent.”
This all comes from the UK Gambling Commission’s commitment to making gambling safer for consumers and to protect them from risk. While the Gambling Commission did recognise that betting with a credit card was convenient for those consumers using them responsibly, it warned that the risk of harm to others was too high to allow the use of credit cards to continue. A key passage from the Gambling Commission’s review into online gambling provides insight into their stance and why they feel it is so important to restrict the consumer’s ability to gamble with credit cards:
“Concern about gambling using credit cards is particularly acute when card spend on gambling sites is treated by the card issuer as a cash advance. Such spending is subject to a transaction fee, is charged at a higher rate of interest, and tends to attract interest immediately. The cost of gambling with a credit card is so high that it is hard to envisage why consumers would choose to pay in that way, unless it was to gamble with money not otherwise available to them.”
It is worth noting however, that despite the UKGC’s efforts, it is still possible to gamble using a credit card while being in the UK. This article will go on to examine the ways in which consumers can do so.
Alternative payments methods
Consumers would be advised to keep in mind that there are a plethora of alternative payment methods to credit cards which are secure, reliable, simple, and incredibly effective to use when gambling online. Debit cards are the most popular deposit method at online casinos, and the most significant difference between credit and debit cards is whose money it is you are using. The most commonly used debit cards are Visa, Mastercard and Maestro. The most significant benefits to using a debit card when gambling online are that transactions are incredibly fast and reliable, and there are rarely any charges associated with using a debit card. Debit cards can only use money which is already in your account. On the contrary, credit cards allow consumers to gamble with borrowed money which not only isn’t their money, but carries a charge for using the money. There are a number of e-wallet services which can still be used to fund a betting account in the UK. E-wallets are like credit cards in the sense that they have to be linked to a bank account – the major difference is that you do not have a physical card and the e-wallets exist online through website or mobile applications.
PayPal is by far the most popular example of an e-wallet given that in recent years it has come to be one of the most efficient and reliable online payment systems. Beyond PayPal, almost all online casinos will accept one of the following e-wallet systems:
- PaySafe card
While not as straightforward as debit cards and e-wallets, consumers should be aware that they can use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to fund a betting account online.
The first step to owning Bitcoins is to find a Bitcoin wallet. You would then need a place to buy cryptocurrency using real money. Once this is done, you can use your digital coins to fund your casino account and play your favourite games. Some online casinos will reward you if you use Bitcoin or an alternative coin for deposits. Because of this, if you are using a cryptocurrency to play at an online casino then it is advisable to join a platform that appreciates cryptocurrency users. For clarity, such sites tend to accept the following coins in addition to Bitcoin:
- Bitcoin cash
Compared to e-wallets, cryptocurrencies give you more anonymity. With the right configurations, you can use digital coins to hide your transactions with online casinos. Cryptocurrencies also offer excellent speed. Most of them complete payments within seconds unless there are system delays. They also offer lower charges, so if you are worried about losing 1-5% of your cash through fees as can sometimes be the case, it is worth considering using cryptocurrency.
Is there still a way to gamble with a credit card in the UK?
How to gamble in the UK on sites which are not covered by UKGC governance.
There are a range of online casinos which are available when you are in the UK that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission – this effectively means the April 2020 ban on using credit cards does not apply on these sites. This section will offer a number of sites not covered by the UKGC’s governance, but inevitably will not cover all of them as there are always new and upcoming online casinos appearing on the web. It is worth mentioning as a slight word of warning that casinos covered by the UKGC have numerous forms of regulations in place which are designed to protect the consumer’s interests.
A prime example of this is the fact that gambling platforms which fall under UKGC governance must hold funds which have been deposited by players in a separate account which is protected in the case of insolvency. This means that in the event of the company going into administration for any reason, the money you have deposited with them is still yours and as a result you do not lose our from the company going bust. As rare a situation as this is, it is a form of protection not to be taken for granted. Consequently, if you are gambling with a non-UKGC casino you may forego some of the protections you would otherwise enjoy when gambling at a well-regulated UKGC platform. Each platform will have extensive terms and conditions so if you want to be aware of the specific ways in which you are (or are not) protected then these are worth consulting. As a rule of thumb the most reliable and well-regulated online casino sites which are not covered by the UKGC are ones which fall under the jurisdictions of either the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA). If you are starting from scratch in trying to find an online casino which accepts credit cards, using a search engine with the term ‘non-UKGC online casinos’ offers up some useful links to such sites.
A good example of such a site which was found by the aforementioned search is Vegas Wild online casino. This platform allows players to deposit with both Visa and Mastercard credit cards, and the site does not charge players at all for any deposits or withdrawals – although the card provider may put a charge on any deposits to a gambling site. At Vegas Wild there are a handful of progressive jackpot slots, one of which reaches the six figure range in payout. Also on offer with this platform are a wide variety of video slots, table games and niche poker games.
Another easily found example of an online casino which allows players to deposit using credit cards is Agent Spins. On this platform both Visa and Mastercard credit cards can be used to deposit. Alternatively to finding platforms which are non-UKGC regulated, there does seem to be a way to use UKGC casinos by registering an account with a non-UK address and using a VPN from the relevant country. A prime example of where this seems possible is with the bookmaker BetSafe. This platform allows players to use credit cards if and only if their account is not registered to a UK address. BetSafe is a very popular platform with an extensive range of choice when it comes to what you bet on. It offers a sportsbook covering over 30 different sports, as well as in-play events from all over the world. On top of this, BetSafe offers markets on the most popular sports in the world betting-wise such as football and horse racing, to some more niche sports such as Speedway and Water Polo. This could have risks involved however, as most online casinos require proof of address to verify a new account – and if you do not have such proof then it is highly likely that you will not be able to withdraw anything and the account will be frozen or suspended.
Using a VPN in order to gamble with a credit card
A VPN is a virtual private network which gives you online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. One of the main benefits of a VPN, and therefore one of the largest reasons people use them, is the ability to change the supposed location you are at on your device, without having to travel anywhere yourself. It is possible to use a VPN to change your location to a non-UK country which then in theory allows you to use a credit card at casinos regardless of whether they are governed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. However it is worth noting that if you are using a non-UKGC online casino, then the platform will normally allow you to use a credit card and as such the use of a VPN is unnecessary.
It is a little more complicated with UKGC-governed online casinos, though. You do need to be using a VPN in order to appear as though you are not in the UK. On top of this, UKGC online casinos will not allow you to gamble with a credit card if your account with them is registered at a UK address. It seems therefore that UKGC casinos will only allow you to gamble with a credit card if your account is registered at a non-UK address. Because UKGC online casinos are more strict when it comes to responsible gambling regulations, they have identity verification checks in place and as of recently most online casinos falling under the governance of the UKGC will require players to provide evidence of photo ID and a document showing proof of address. Players are often required to fulfil this check before even being able to play any games on the respective platform, but what players can be sure of is the fact that every online casino will need to verify your identity before allowing you to withdraw funds from the account. So, in order to gamble with a credit card at a UKGC online casino you need to be able to prove that you reside at an address outside of the UK – and if you’re currently in the UK then you need to be using a reliable VPN as well. There are many VPNs to choose from, the most reliable examples would be Norton Internet Security, NordVPN or ExpressVPN. These providers often have free trials so you can use them for a relatively short period of time (normally three days to a week in length) before having to pay for the service.
VPNs are incredibly easy to use and are available on both mobile and desktop. You are normally able to turn the VPN on and off as often as you want and you can choose the location you wish to appear in at your convenience.
Best credit cards to use when gambling on alternative casino sites in the UK
First of all, there are several different types of credit card on the market which operate slightly differently from each other depending on what their purpose is. The following is a simple breakdown of some cards which are commonly available, what the purpose of them is and how they work:
- Balance transfer credit card: this type of card is commonly used to transfer an existing balance between accounts. It involves transferring money you owe for lower interest rates on your repayments.
- 0% purchase credit card: these cards are used for low or interest-free spending, and they allow the consumer to spread the cost of a large purchase over a longer period.
- All rounder credit card: one of these cards would usually be used to transfer an existing balance between accounts and to spend interest free. This works by allowing the consumer to transfer money they owe for lower interest rates, and to spend interest free for a specified period of time – hence the name ‘all rounder credit card’ as it gives the consumer the best of both worlds.
- Credit cards for bad credit: these are used to improve your credit rating. You would typically get one of these cards if you are planning on meeting your monthly credit card repayments and build your credit score.
- Rewards and airlines credit cards: these cards allow you to earn rewards on your spending. Things like cashback, points for airlines and various different vouchers can be earned when spending with one of these cards.
- Travel credit card: this would be your go-to credit card if you were wanting to use one on a holiday or if you are regularly abroad on business. They allow you to avoid overseas charges when you use your credit card abroad.
It should go without saying that the idea of the ‘best credit card for you’ largely depends on what your priorities are, and what you are trying to achieve. If you are financially stable with a reliable income but want to use your credit card to gamble, then using something like a 0% purchase credit card or an all rounder credit card would be decent choices. Similarly, if you are financially sound and have good credit and no issues with cash flow, then there would not be much point in using a credit card designed for bad credit. Alternatively, if you know you are going to be out of the UK and travelling, and you feel that you may want to gamble while out of the country, then a travel credit card would be advisable to minimise the charges for using your card in a different country. Because of the nature of how credit cards vary in structure and benefits, choosing the right credit card for you very much depends on your personal circumstances.
Pros and cons of some of the available credit cards
The most commonly used credit cards are Visa and MasterCard. These are both very secure credit cards, offering their users protection against fraud. MasterCard protects its customers via its SecureCode scheme and Visa offers its Verified by Visa programme for extra security. The most significant benefit to using these credit cards – and indeed any credit card – is the ability to spend money on credit. This means spending money which you do not have, borrowing it from a bank and repaying it further down the line, often on a monthly basis, with interest paid on top. The ability to spend borrowed money is the major factor which sets credit cards apart from most other payment methods.
There are also various tiers of credit cards available with both Visa and MasterCard. Some of the higher tier credit cards offer benefits such as special access to entertainment and sporting events, as well as reduced fares for travel and airlines. The negative side to using credit cards is that there is interest charged on the money you borrow as well as charges for transactions. Sometime the amount charged can vary depending on where you are spending your money. Credit card providers can usually determine that you are spending money with a gambling platform and they increase their charge accordingly as it is regarded as a high risk activity.
Credit card fees
How to deposit using a credit card
Depositing using a credit card is fairly straightforward once you have decided upon the platform you are going to use. Simply navigate to the ‘deposit’ area of the website, it is worth noting that this will normally fall under the ‘cashier’ page. Most online casinos allow deposits to be instant – after all, they want you to be gambling at their platform and it is not in their interests to delay you spending your money. However the card provider will often put a levy on what you deposit if you are gambling on credit.
Deposit and withdrawal times
As mentioned above, there is not normally a delay between depositing funds and being able to use them at the online casino of your choice. Withdrawing funds, however, is a different equation. Many online casinos have a minimum withdrawal amount, and depending on which platform you are gambling with this can range from as little as £5 to a minimum as high as £50 at some sites. When withdrawing funds it normally takes at least two working days from non-UKGC casinos, and quite often some sites can have a waiting time of five working days before the funds are in your account. A range of the largest and most popular UKGC-affiliated betting sites have introduced rapid withdrawal times in the last year or so. However, as outline earlier, finding a way to gamble with a credit card at a popular and well-regulated UKGC-governed casino is quite difficult.
Other devices: how the process works on mobile, tablet and desktop
Types of gambling that allow you to use a credit card
The most common form of gambling that is available when using a credit card are online casinos. These sites typically include video slots, progressive jackpot slots and computer-simulated table games such as blackjack, roulette, and poker. However, consumers will inevitably find that different forms of gambling are available depending on the platform you use. There are various sportsbook platforms which allow you to gamble with a credit card, a good example is Betnow.eu which allows its players to deposit using either Visa, Mastercard or American Express. Using BetNow as an example, a wide range of sporting events are available for you to gamble on ranging from the most popular American sports such as Basketball (the NBA), Baseball (the MLB) and American Football (the NFL), to some of the more niche sporting events such as Nascar. There are also dozens upon dozens of football leagues available to bet on.
How to find the best online casinos to use a credit card for gambling in the UK
When trying to find the best online casinos to use a credit card to gamble with in the UK, here at NotOnGamStopCasinos.com we have a comprehensive guide of all of the casinos that you can find that allows you to do this. Not only do we outline all of the advantages and benefits of each and the process that is involved, but also we give you a thorough review of the sites themselves in order to better help you make a more informed decision.
This means that you can rest assured that our team of experts have taken a forensic look into this and made sure to interrogate anything that may be of concern to you, including some of the points that we have covered in this guide so far, from deposit and withdrawal limits to the types of credit cards that each site will accept.
In conclusion what can be ascertained about being able to use a credit card to gamble in the UK, is that while the UKGC prohibits this, you are still able to play on sites in the UK, which are not covered by the UKGC and as a result, may fall under a different license such as the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) or the GGC (Gibraltar Gambling Commission).
Over the next few years, as technology continues to develop is that other possible forms of payment methods may be released, such as something that is specifically geared towards the gambling industry in place of a credit card. However, for now, when it comes to finding an online casino to use a credit card, this is still entirely possible and NotOnGamStopCasinos.com can provide you with all of the latest information about this and what is and is not possible.