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Credit card restrictions for gambling transactions

Why can’t I use my credit cards for gambling transactions?

Starting 14th April 2020, all UK licensed gambling operators can no longer accept credit cards for gambling. This step was announced by the Gambling Commission on 14th January 2020, with the aim of protecting consumers against the financial impacts associated with the use of credit cards for gambling. To support this, we are making changes to restrict the use of first direct credit cards for gambling, where gambling businesses continue to accept them.

To help you keep in control of your card spending, you can turn off gambling transactions on your debit card by using the App. To find out how to do this and for our FAQs see our Gambling support page.

What transactions does this change impact?

This change only impacts transactions made using credit cards, where the transaction is categorised as gambling.

How does the gambling restriction on credit cards work?

Businesses that accept payment by credit card are categorised depending on the type of goods or service they provide (this is done by Mastercard and Visa, and not by first direct.) If we know a credit card payment is for gambling purposes because of the way the merchant is categorised, it will be declined. We can’t guarantee we’ll be able to block all gambling transactions, for example, some lottery tickets are sold through supermarkets and other retailers, so may not be identified as gambling transactions.