Monzo urges mandatory gambling block access

Online bank Monzo has proposed increased accessibility to responsible gambling safeguards through the UK’s banking sector. 

It comes as the UK government is set to overhaul the gambling sector through the ongoing review of the 2005 Gambling Act. Monzo urged sports minister, Nigel Huddleston, who is at the forefront of the review, to make the process of self-exclusion increasingly seamless and efficient. 

The process would involve gambling companies providing their bank details, leading to the universal blocking of transactions for specific consumers that have requested it. 

Issuing a letter to the government, Monzo’s Chief Executive, TS Anil, stated: “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.

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

The firm added: “Ultimately, the Gambling Act review offers a unique opportunity to create a world-leading self-exclusion framework in the UK to reduce gambling harms, and help consumers gain control of their finances.

“The rise in online gambling, and new ways to pay, requires a robust response from the government.”

Each of the UK’s major banks currently do have safeguards in place to support social responsibility in terms of gambling, however, Monzo underlined its belief that obstacles need to be removed in order for consumers to engage with the tools available. 

The proposals by Monzo were backed by the University of Bristol, as it continues to research gambling harms and the most fruitful methods in supporting those at risk. 

Furthermore, speaking to the Guardian, the Betting and Gaming Council also thrust its support behind the recommendations, as it stated: “We support all forms of blocking capabilities and are encouraged by the continued uptake by banks of these functions.”