Good news for those facing financial difficulties or even addiction issues due to too much gambling online, HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, will soon allow their customers to block spending on gambling websites.
The move by HSBC forms part of a larger campaign to actively target and reduce increasing issues directly related to gambling addiction and abuse. HSBC says that, in a nutshell, the facility will allow for a “24-hour cooling off period”, which may be enough time for gamblers to come to their senses and take a break from gambling.
While casino gambling is nothing new, and has actually been around for centuries, the ability to gamble online is, relatively speaking, very new. Whereas before, if you wanted to gamble, you’d need to either live near enough to a brick and mortar casino, or save up enough money to travel to a destination that features a casino on your holidays.
However, since 1994, when the world’s first online casino officially launched, being able to gamble has become much easier and far more convenient. Today, thousands of Brits all across the UK gamble online each and every day. In fact, since online casinos are open 24-hours a day, UK gamblers are able to partake of their favourite casino game or slot, whenever they like – day or night.
Add to this the fact that most online casinos now also offer convenient casino gambling on your preferred mobile device, and you not only have a situation where you can gamble at any time you like, you can also gamble anywhere you like too.
While this scenario is fine for most people, who are able to control how much they spend on gambling or how much time they spend on gambling, there are those unfortunate ones that are simply unable to.
Gambling addiction is becoming a very serious problem throughout the UK, with those addicted to gambling often spending most or all of their available income on gambling. Some will even spend money that they can’t spare, such as their rent or grocery money on gambling. This creates massive problems, not only for them, but for their families as well.
One of the biggest issues that gambling addicts face is the ready availability of funds, which allows them to ‘chase’ losses, in the hopes of winning back the money that they have already lost. The result is a downward spiral that they simply cannot control.
When it comes to online casino gambling, things are never as simple as they seem. The online casino industry is a multi billion-pound industry, and there are many players on the field. Apart from the casinos themselves, affiliates, financial providers (payment options), and others are all in the food chain.
While many of these players are more than happy to turn a blind eye to the growing problem of gambling addiction, some companies are actively trying to come up with workable solutions to the problem.
One such company is HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, who has joined other leading banks in making available practical facilities to help gamblers control or manage their gambling habits and spending. HSBC’s solution is to add a “cooling off” period which is designed to help prevent negative gambling habits from developing.
HSBC currently services over 14 million customers in the UK and feels that its latest service will allow customers to self-restrict or exclude themselves from spending their money on sports betting or casino gambling. Once a customer has voluntarily placed a restriction on withdrawals from their bank accounts, the reversal of said action will only become available to them after a 24-hour period.
While the bank believes that the 24-hour self-imposed block will give customers enough time to reconsider their spending on gambling, they are also not leaving it just there. The bank has devised this new strategy with the help of two leading gambling addiction charities – GambleAware and GamCare.
Together with the charities, HSBC hopes to create what they call “positive friction”, a term describing the slowing down of action, enough to give time to change one’s course. The bank said that it decided to implement these new strategies based on many interactions with their clients, who all expressed concerns with excessive spending of their finances on gambling sites.