June 27, 2023 3 min read


GamCare Supports Raising Awareness for Bank Gambling Blocks

GamCare reminded that raising awareness of bank gambling payment blocks can help more people access such options and reduce their gambling

Self-exclusion from gambling is one way for people affected by problem gambling or at-risk gambling to limit their access to such activities. While self-exclusion options can help people who are struggling with gambling, bank gambling payment blocks can also have a positive impact on that process. This is because such payment blocks can reduce the possibility for people affected by at-risk or problem gambling to deposit funds with gambling operators.

Now, the UK charity that helps people affected by problem gambling, GamCare, reiterated the importance of improving bank gambling blocks and the benefits such options bring to consumers. On Monday, the charity revealed that a key part of the process is to help raise awareness of bank gambling blocks and provide support for people that needed it.

The announcement comes after earlier this year, GamCare organized its second workshop on bank gambling blocks. The workshop sought to uncover new ways to raise awareness of bank gambling blocks and other gambling management tools. During the event, GamCare heard different ideas and opinions from experts.

A key part in the process of improving bank gambling blocks is raising awareness, the workshop found. An idea was formed that banks need to be proactive and notify their customers about tools that can limit gambling activities such as blocks.

Still, that wouldn’t be a general requirement but rather affects consumers that have “vulnerability markers on their account.” Additional proactive efforts by the banks would be to refer such customers to organizations that provide gambling support such as TalkBanStop.

Inconsistency in Naming Bank Gambling Blocks

Deelan Maru, one of the members of GamCare’s Behavioral Insights Team, explained that one challenge bank gambling payment blocks face is the inconsistency such activities are referred to by different banks. As an example, he pointed out that some banks refer to gambling payment blocks as “card freeze,” while others present the block as “restriction” or “merchant control.”

Our analysis of bank gambling tools shows that gambling blocks have inconsistent naming conventions across different banking apps. For example, one bank may call it ‘card freeze’, whilst another would place it under ‘merchant control’ or ‘restriction’ settings – ultimately causing ambiguity and confusion for the consumer.

Deelan Maru, Behavioral Insights Team member at GamCare

Maru explained that the inconsistent naming of the bank gambling blocks creates confusion for the customers. According to him, consistent naming of the solution across bank institutions and a proactive approach can raise awareness of those tools and ultimately help more people.

GamCare also pointed out that while self-exclusion options are popular, some people learn about bank gambling blocks only when they encounter gambling harm first. The charity revealed that there are people, affected by problem gambling that reach out for support and discover the option for bank gambling blocks.


William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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