Why Prohibiting PayPal Deposits Isn’t the Problem 

If someone has a gambling problem, their use of PayPal to fund accounts is not the problem.

One of the key characteristics of someone with a gambling problem is their propensity to try to place blame for their problems anywhere but where the blame should be. At the same time, it’s difficult to be get bothered by something an addict does because they have a disease. 

In the UK, the online gambling community has been experiencing incredible growth over the last few years. The community has been growing by double-digit percentages year-over-year for over 10 years with no end in site. Currently, experts estimate that close to 20% of the UK population has at least one online gambling account. Furthermore, at least 74%of those gamblers are using mobile devices. These are amazing numbers that were only enhanced by the lockdowns associated by the COVID19 pandemic. 

Why the Expansion of Online Gambling Concerns the UK Government

Over the last three or four years, the UK government through the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been clamping down on the UK’s online gambling industry. Their efforts have been centered on regulations related to the GamStop Self-exclusion program and the use of credit cards to fund online gambling accounts. This sudden aggression raises the following question, “Of what is the UKGC concerned?”

According to recent studies, about 11% of the UK online gambling community will struggle with some kind of gambling problems. To be clear, that number is pretty consistent all across the world. What concerns the UKGC is an increase in the sheer number of online gamblers will also result in an increase in the sheer number of people who encounter gambling problems. It’s a viable argument and it certainly gives credence to the UKGC’s actions. 

Online Gambling Opponents Call for the Blocking of All Funding Options

First of all, gambling is big business in the UK. Throughout the region, there are hundreds of retail casinos and thousands of betting shops. After factoring in hundreds of online casinos and sportsbooks, it becomes clear that the gambling industry in the UK is huge. Being huge, the UK draws huge tax revenue from these resources. That’s why gambling opponents are fighting a losing battle.

Where the battle has led is to calls for the UKGC to ban the use of all funding methods that are commonly used by the UK’s online gambling community. The hope is online gamblers will be sent to the sidelines if they can’t fund their online gambling accounts. 

As it relates to credit cards, the UKGC was in agreement. That is why they did ban the use of credit cards to fund gambling accounts in the UK and abroad. Their reasoning was the use of credit cards was not only enabling problem gamblers, but it was also leaving them with massive debt. True enough. 

However, banking option like PayPal don’t create mounds of debt. It’s “cash n carry” business and to shutdown this kind of banking option is a violation of a person’s right to manage their own hard-earned cash. 

Prohibiting PayPal Deposits Isn’t Going to Address the Problem

Blocking PayPal payment option is not going to stop online gamblers from gambling online. As long as online gambling sites exist, motivated online gamblers will find a way to do what they want to do. 

What might work is further promotion of the GamStop Self-exclusion. GamStop was introduced by the UKGC in 2018. In 2020, they started mandating that all licensed UK online gambling operators subscribe to the GamStop scheme. As an added incentive for operators to do so, the UKGC has threatened big fines and license suspension for online gambling operators that won’t comply.

Remember, GamStop is a free and voluntary program for problem gamblers. The scheme is in place as a way for problem gamblers to tell UK online gambling operators they want to be blocked from having online gambling access for a prescribed period of time. After a UK gambler registers with GamStop, that is exactly what happens.

As far as the effectiveness of the program is concerned, it works well for online gamblers who are committed to addressing their possible gambling addiction issues. However, the program only targets operators that are UKGC licensed and GamStopsubscribed. That leaves lots of other online gambling options for the GamStop registered gambler who changes their mind. The options include:

• Turning to offshore online gambling resources

• Using crypto-only online casinos and sportsbooks

• Opening accounts with a partner under the partner’s identity

• Registering with unlicensed UK operators not on GamStop

Of particular interest is the last option on this list. In fact, there are a lot of quality UK online gambling operators that have avoided the UKGC’s reach. As unlicensed operators, they don’t have access to the GamStop database and can’t scrutinize new customers for their GamStop registrations.

Here’s a twist. If GamStop gambler wants access to a non-GamStop operator that accepts PayPal, they can find non-GamStop PayPal casinos in the UK via NonGamStopWager. It’s that easy. 

Here’s the bottom line. If there is a problem, you don’t attack the symptoms. If someone has a gambling problem, their use of PayPal to fund accounts is not the problem. Their uncontrollable urge to gamble is the problem. Providing access to a self-exclusion program like GamStop is far more likely to help a problem gambler than simply prohibiting them from using PayPal to fund their gambling account or accounts.