Frequently asked questions on credit card restrictions
Why can’t I use my credit cards for gambling transactions?
Since 14th April 2020, all UK licensed gambling operators can no longer accept credit cards for gambling. This step was announced by the Gambling Commission on 14th January 2020, with the aim of protecting consumers against the risks of harm associated with the use of credit cards for gambling. To support this, we restrict the use of HSBC credit cards for gambling, where gambling businesses continue to accept them.
What transactions does this impact?
This only impacts transactions made using credit cards, where we have reason to believe they are for gambling purposes.
How does the gambling restriction on credit cards work?
Businesses that accept payment by credit card are categorised depending on the type of goods or service they provide (this is done by Mastercard and Visa, and not by HSBC). If we know or suspect a credit card payment is for gambling purposes because of the way the business you’re paying is categorised, it will be declined. We can’t guarantee we’ll block all gambling transactions and you’ll still be liable for any that do go through. For example, some lottery tickets are sold through supermarkets, so may not be identified as gambling transactions.
Does this mean I cannot use my HSBC credit card for gambling overseas?
Yes. This will affect transactions using your HSBC credit card with merchants categorised as gambling internationally.
Can I remove this gambling restriction from my HSBC credit card?
No. This restrictions applies to all HSBC credit cards’, given the 16 April 2020 date has already passed.
Do all banks restrict the use of credit cards for gambling?
The Gambling Commission doesn’t allow UK gambling operators to accept any credit cards for gambling. HSBC supports the Gambling Commission’s objective of reducing gambling harm by blocking any transactions made using HSBC credit cards where we know or suspect they are for gambling purposes. Other card issuers may have a different approach.
I made a gambling related transaction using my credit card, why was this allowed?
We identify gambling transactions based on the way the business you’re paying is categorised. If the category wasn’t gambling-related, we may not have identified that your payment was for a gambling transaction.
What about debit cards?
These restrictions only apply to credit cards. There is no change to the use of debit cards for gambling transactions, but you can choose to add a gambling restriction by logging on to the HSBC UK Mobile banking app, selecting the current account on which you hold the debit card, followed by ‘Manage cards’ and then ‘Gambling restrictions’.
Where can I find additional support around gambling?