Can banks block gambling transactions? We run through the major UK high street banks and outline what services they provide to their at-risk customers.
Many banks are now working on plans to help customers restrict their spending on gambling, offering gambling blocking solutions, with some banks allowing customers to 'turn off' payments to certain types of retailer, including gambling services.
What is the Gambling Block?
While each scheme operates in their own way, fundamentally they all work the same. The gambling block is a feature that allows you to block your bank account/bank card/credit card from being used for gambling transactions. It’s important to know that enabling a gambling block through your bank does not impact your credit score and would not affect any future lending decisions.
Which banks offer a Gambling Blocking Services?
Royal Bank of Scotland
Offers a card locking feature to customers which include a blocker specifically for gambling transactions.
Learn more about the Royal Bank of Scotland's services below.
A feature within their banking app, which lets customers quickly freeze and unfreeze different types of transactions on their debit or credit cards. As well as offering their customers access to Gamban.
Learn more about Lloyds Bank's services below.
Offers customers various useful tools and support such as; financial tracking, personal support and advice and access to Gamban licences to block online gambling.
Learn more about Halifax's services below.
Bank of Scotland
Offers a card freezing feature, which, include a blocker specifically for gambling transactions.
Learn more about the Bank of Scotland's services below.
Allows customers to keep track of their bills and spending by using their Online Card Services.
Learn more about mbna's services below.
Allows customers to voluntarily add or remove gambling restrictions on their debit cards or credit cards (including Pay by Bank app). HSBC also offers a "Cool Off Period", this means that customers can opt to lift the gambling restriction, but transactions will still be declined until the "Cool Off Period" has completed.
Learn more about HSBC's services below.
Allows customers to block gambling transactions on their Monzo account, straight from the app. To turn off the block, customers will need to talk to Monzo's customer support team. Where they'll ask questions to see if their situation has changed since first switching on the restrictions.
Learn more about Monzo's services below.
Allows customers to block online payments, including gambling transactions, easily from their banking app.
Learn more about Starling Bank's services below.
Offers customers a card locking feature, which includes a gambling transactions blocker, within the banking app.
Learn more about Natwest's services below.
Allows customers to block debit card payments to certain types of merchants, including gambling websites and apps, within their banking app.
Learn more about Barclays' services below.
Allows customers to block specific transaction types without freezing their Mastercard entirely.
Learn more about Santander's services below.
Allows users to block transactions to licenced gambling merchants from their card. It takes at least 72 hours to lift the block.
Learn more about Danske Bank's services below.
Why are banks doing this?
People who have gambling problems and decide to stop can choose to self-exclude from gambling, use software to block online gambling sites and self-exclude physically from betting shops and casinos. While these are all helpful ways for people to get support, many banks believe they can do more to support self-exclusion too.
Your journey with gambling recovery can be challenging, and having multiple tools at your disposal can increase your chances of overcoming the habit. Several options are available, including gambling blocking software, self-exclusion from online gambling, and bank transaction blocking.
For all UK residents, TalkBanStop provides practical tools and support for every step of your recovery journey. Reach out to a trained adviser on the National Gambling Helpline for free, confidential guidance and advice. Additionally, you can receive a free Gamban licence and will guide you through the benefits of self-excluding with GAMSTOP if you haven’t already.