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Monzo Calls for Better Gambling Safeguards

Monzo Calls for Better Gambling Safeguards

The CEO of the online bank Monzo is calling on the Prime Minister and the Sports Minister to help banks better protect their customers from gambling harms as part of the current DCMS review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Monzo was the first bank to introduce a gambling block facility for UK consumers, a move that was quickly followed by Barclays and other high street banks.

However, Monzo’s chief executive, TS Anil, believes that more can be done with regards to customer affordability and social responsibility, and he wants the UK government to help financial institutions to make “self-exclusion increasingly seamless and efficient”.

GAM-STOP The National Online Self Exclusion Scheme

Self-exclusion is a scheme that is available to customers of all UK-licensed gambling sites. It’s operated by GAMSTOP and it’s a free service that allows people to put controls in place to help restrict their gambling activities.

After registering, it can take up to 24 hours for self-exclusion to take effect, and once it’s active, the customer will no longer be able to access any online gambling companies for a set period (6 months, 1 year, or 5 years).

The proposed banking changes would require gambling companies to share their bank details with all UK financial services providers, and all banks would be asked to use the shared tool so that everyone in the UK can access gambling blocks, regardless of who they bank with.

Although Monzo says that a significant proportion of its customers have taken advantage of, or made enquiries about, its gambling block tool, research undertaken by Bristol University and GambleAware shows that an estimated 28 million people are unable to prevent payments to gambling websites through their bank.

Monzo’s proposal would, therefore, allow all customers to prevent bank transfers, direct debits, and card payments from being used for gambling purposes, and it wants the UK Government to back its pilot project to help get both gambling operators and financial institutions on board.

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