A Complete Guide To Credit Card Gambling UK

Credit cards are popular financial tools that can be used to build a good credit score and push back various expenses. Millions of people use credit cards in the UK, and due to their unique abilities, they quickly became a popular gambling payment method. 

People saw plenty of pros and cons to gambling with a credit card, but it was ultimately outlawed by the UKGC in April 2020. Since then, people across the country have had many questions about credit card gambling, so this guide aims to answer them all. 

Is It Possible To Gamble With A Credit Card in the UK?

Yes and no. 

We just mentioned the UKGC banning credit card gambling in 2020, but this only tells half the story. The nationwide ban specifically refers to casinos and betting operators with a UKGC licence. This means places like Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, Sky Bet and Bet365 cannot accept credit card payments on their platforms. 

On the other side of things, the law does not extend to casinos without a UK licence. You can quickly find a credit card casino on that’s open to British players yet doesn’t operate with a UK licence. It will likely be licensed overseas, but as long as the site lets players from the UK join, then there are technically no issues. 

That’s why this question has a yes and no answer. Yes, you can gamble with a credit card in the UK, even though all UK gambling operators are banned from letting you do so. The trick is knowing which sites to join while remaining as safe as can be. 

Why Was Credit Card Gambling Outlawed?

This is a question people have asked for the last four years. They nod to other countries around the world, most of which don’t have a ban on credit card gambling. So, why did the UK introduce one for all sites registered in the country? 

It comes down to the functionality of a credit card compared with a debit card: 

  • A debit card forces you to spend money that exists in your bank account
  • A credit card lets you spend money you’ve essentially “borrowed” from the card provider

In other words, you can spend £200 with a credit card, despite the fact you don’t have that much money in your bank. This is how a lot of people end up in credit card debt – and we’re not even talking about gamblers here. Most of the general public doesn’t understand how credit cards work, so they spend lots of money on these cards and are then surprised when they need to be repaid. 

From a gambling point of view, there was a fear that bettors would spend too much money they didn’t possess. As a consequence, they’d rack up huge credit card bills and be left with insurmountable debt. Credit cards were banned from UK gambling providers as a safety precaution – whether or not this was necessary divides opinion. 

How Can You Gamble With A Credit Card Safely?

Many of the arguments against credit card gambling could easily be used against credit cards in general. And yet, they’re not completely outlawed! The problem with credit card betting wasn’t so much the cards themselves, but rather a lack of knowledge about how to use them. 

If you want to use legal foreign gambling sites to bet with credit cards, you need to know how to do so safely. Here are some great tips to help you out: 

  • Get a credit card with a low credit limitLloyds Bank describes a credit limit as the maximum amount of money you can borrow on your credit card at any one time. For instance, if your credit limit is £2,000, you can’t spend more than that each month using your card. Gamble with more responsibility by getting a card with a low credit limit. Set it at something very low, so you can never go overboard and won’t end up in serious debt. 
  • Only gamble money you can afford to repay – Remember, credit cards don’t give you free money. Every penny you spend has to be repaid. Keep this in mind when gambling (or when using your credit card generally) and only spend what you can afford to repay when your bill comes in. Speaking of which…
  • Pay your bill in full every month – When you receive a credit card bill, it will give you two payment options. You have a minimum amount, plus the total amount. Do NOT pay the minimum. People see this as a way to escape paying the full price, but it means the rest of your bill is subject to interest. You’ll have even more to pay the next month and the next if you keep paying the minimum. Paying the FULL bill will mean you have NO interest to worry about. 

Does Credit Card Gambling Affect Your Credit Score?

Everyone should be aware of the importance of a good credit score. It helps you access different financial services and enables you to borrow as much money as possible with a low-interest rate when you need a mortgage. 

Many things can impact your credit score, but gambling isn’t one of them. Betting with a credit card won’t make a difference as the transactions aren’t viewed as “gambling” on your credit report. Credit agencies simply take into account things like your financial habits and the ability to repay money. 

As long as you’re not maxing out your credit card and continue to pay the bill in full, you won’t be in trouble at all. Ironically, using your credit card more regularly can boost your credit score! 

So there you have it; credit card gambling is technically not allowed at any UK-based gambling sites. However, there’s a loophole as you can legally gamble with a credit card when using sites not registered in the UK. Just be sure the sites are legitimate and that you can join them without using fake details or a VPN. 

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