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Monzo tells ministers to enforce gambling blocks for UK banks

Online bank Monzo urges the UK government to force banks to issue blocks on gambling transactions

Monzo and addiction experts and researchers wrote a letter to sports minster, Nigel Huddleston, calling for a law review that would allow customers to block gaming transactions. They contend that this would remove hurdles problem gamblers face when seeking to address their addiction. 

The online bank suggested all banks and account providers should offer customers the possibility of blocking themselves from executing any form of gambling transaction on a debit card. In turn, gambling companies should provide their bank account details which will be tracked on a centralised database.

Monzo reportedly have 275,000 customers with active gambling blocks, less than 10% ended up deactivating this feature. 

The letter stated:

These tools are simple to build, proven to work, and will help protect hundreds of thousands of people,

Monzo’s chief executive, TS Anil shared:Monzo’s chief executive, TS Anil

We believe the government should take the opportunity afforded by the Gambling Act review to make sure every consumer in the UK can access these blocks, regardless of who they bank with, 

The move echoes similar initiatives from 8 high street banks to mitigate gambling harm.  Natwest introduced a 48-hour delay gambling block on debit cards back in October 2020. Barclays and HSBC have introduced a 72-hour cool off period to curb gambling addiction. 

Recently, The Lancet Public Health journal published their January 2021 report highlighting concerns over "urgent, neglected, and understudied" gambling problems.

Source: The Guardian

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