Betting surge

TSB reveals spike in customers gambling


Gamblers are running up debts betting online

TSB has revealed a surge in the number of gambling transactions among its customers as the UK Government publishes plans to deal with a growing addiction problem.

The Edinburgh-headquartered bank has seen a 45% increase in customers making more than four bets a day between 2020 and 2022 – a total of 8,100 customers.

TSB also reveals the number of people gambling for more than four days a week increased by 40% over the same period between 2020 and 2022, with 6,500 customers gambling with this regularity.

Across the UK, Britons gamble more than £14 billion a year, much of it online since the advent of smartphones. UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said her plans will close the “trapdoor to despair and isolation” that is online gambling.

New measures include a mandatory 1% levy on all industry revenues, affordability checks aimed at protecting problem punters and maximum stakes for online slot machines, but the government only pledged to consult on these issues.

Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment said the reforms could cost the company up to £100m a year from 2024. It said that since 2021, it has enforced a maximum slot limit of £10 per spin.

But there are concerns the delayed White Paper will fall short of the action required to prevent widespread harm.

There are concerns about Westminster’s commitment to reform. Blackpool South MP Scott Benton was secretly filmed offering to lobby ministers on behalf of the gambling industry in exchange for money.

Analysis by Sky News found firms spent more than £200,000 on attempting to cultivate relationships with MPs over the course of the last parliament.

To help customers better manage their gambling, TSB offers a gambling block, developed in partnership with the charity GamCare. Available through the TSB Mobile Banking app, the block prevents payments to gambling companies and is irreversible for a 48-hour period.

Since TSB launched gambling controls in March, they’ve been  used over 8,300 times by more than 4,400 customers.

Nicola Bannister, the bank’s director of financial support, said: “For many people gambling is simply about buying a scratch card once in a while, but for others it can quickly get out of control and lead to serious financial difficulties – which can be particularly hard-felt during these tough economic conditions.

“Our gambling block offer breathing space for customers wanting to better manage their gambling habits and to help reduce the likelihood of financial harm.”

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