Monzo Calls For Wider Availability Of Gambling Blocks
Government called to introduce legislation to introduce bank gambling blocks
Monzo has written a letter to the government, asking for it to force all banks to offer their customers the opportunity to block betting transactions if they want to. The bank has also called on gambling firms to provide data to ensure that there are no potential workarounds and that customers who wish to be fully excluded are.
The bank has written to Nigel Huddleston, the sports minister who is leading a review of gambling law in the UK. They want to see the government make it easier for anyone who is struggling with the temptation to gamble to exclude themselves.
It’s estimated that around 40% of bank account holders in the UK – approximately 28 million customers – don’t have the option to exclude gambling transactions, while another 40% aren’t aware that the option exists for them.
Monzo Leads The Way
Monzo already offers customers the opportunity to block gambling services for its users, and are one of several banks to do so. However many major banks do not offer this functionality, or only offer it on a per-card basis or on select accounts, so customers can get around it quite easily.
Monzo has stated that they have 275,000 customers currently with an active gambling block, and fewer than 10% of those that opted into the gambling block had then deactivated it at a later date.
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.
Monzo’s chief executive, TS Anil.
Tools Proven To Work
The letter was primarily sent by Monzo but it was co-signed by researchers at the University of Bristol. Other firms that added their name to the letter include gambling addiction support groups such as GamFam, a leading NHS expert on gambling disorder, and software firms that deal with the tech that can block gambling payments.
These tools are simple to build, proven to work, and will help protect hundreds of thousands of people.
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.
The letter to the government
As well as combatting the traditional gambling activities of sports betting and casino games, the letter has also called for an investigation into whether video game loot boxes should be blocked by software if a customer wished for it to be excluded.
Loot boxes are currently a hot topic in legal debates over gambling, and the letter has challenged the government to work with video game producers to review whether it’s possible for the software to block payments.
We support all forms of blocking capabilities and are encouraged by the continued uptake by banks of these functions.