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Barclays to Protect Problem Gamblers

by Glenn Baird - December 11, 2018

The UK based bank, Barclays, have launched a new feature that will allow problem gamblers to block payments made to certain outlets.

The bank actually has 5 categories that their customers can “turn off” any attempted payments to. On the list are, groceries, restaurants, petrol, premium rate websites and phone lines, and gambling websites.

The new initiative has been put in place to allow consumers with certain addictions to better manage them. The three main targets appear to be problem gamblers, drinkers and anyone looking to curtail spending and address increasing debt. There are options to block pubs, bars, nightclubs, betting shops, casinos, along with online outlets.

The feature is currently limited to Barclays’ debit cards but will soon be rolled out to credit cards too.

Chief executive of GambleAware, Marc Etches said: “GambleAware welcomes this initiative by Barclays, which we hope will encourage other banks to do the same. There are 340,000 problem gamblers in Britain and a further 1.7 million at risk, and initiatives like this can play an important role in helping to reduce gambling-related harms.”

With the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Jeremy Wright saying that: “Using technology for good must be a priority for all businesses. I support this move from Barclays that can help people protect themselves from the risk of gambling-related harm. This is an area where both industry and government have important roles to play. I urge others in the banking sector to follow suit.”