It has been revealed that over half a million people have blocked themselves from using their online gambling accounts due to concern about overusing their accounts during the COVID-19 quarantine.
According to the Daily Mail, there are over 570,000 people that currently gamble online via their bank account, but have since tried to stop themselves from doing so in the wake of a government statement that will see people spend the vast majority of the next 21 days at home.
The UK Gambling Commission believes there are 340,000 problem gamblers in the United Kingdom and have already taken steps to prevent that number being increased further. Gamblers are currently able to deposit significant funds into their online casino accounts from their bank account, though major banks are now intervening.
They now give their customers the option to ‘block’ payments to their gambling sites, which has proved to be an extremely popular option amongst those who regularly use online casinos and bookmakers to place bets.
This block can only be taken back once a cooling off period has taken place, which will either be 24 or 48 hours depending on who you are banking with.
The numbers are significant, with Natwest saying that 1 in 10 of their customers gamble using their bank account, while some spend more than a quarter of their total monthly income on gambling.
200,000 customers use the blocking service at Starling Bank, while Monzo’s gambling block is currently being used by 220,000 of their customers. Elsewhere, Lloyds’ stats stand at 120,000 and HSBC have a further 30,000 people not allowing payments to be made to betting companies.
The lack of sporting action does not mean that there isn’t anything for punters to bet on. The omission of the Premier League, Champions League and all UK horse racing hasn’t stopped bookmakers from offering markets to their customers to bet on. It has seen them push mire obscure sports such as table tennis to the fore, letting players place wagers on events they will likely not know too much about at all.
Labour MP Carolyn Harris said: “It is great that so many people are taking steps to protect themselves from this awful addiction.
“Now banks must do more to prevent players betting money from overdrafts and payday loans.”
There are very safe and secure ways to play safely online with no deposits.