The sports betting site Betr recently became the first American operator to ban credit cards for making gambling deposits. The use of credit cards for any form of gambling has been a point of contention between gamblers and industry opponents for years in the United Kingdom, and now Betr looks to be getting ahead of the curve here in the United States.
For the past several months, This Week in Gambling has been generating sports betting headlines that warn of a potential backlash against the betting industry in this country. As gambling on sporting events continues to spread, and operators continue to advertise, the odds of problem gambling increase. That scenario concern us, as it could easily create a large push-back against our industry and the barrage of advertisements being run in the media. Just such a push-back came to the UK a few years ago, resulting in massive changes.
One of those changes was to ban credit cards for the purposes of making deposits to gambling sites. Betr seem to see that this could (and most likely will) become an issue at some point, and they are getting out in front of it. Not only will the move be better for protecting gamblers from potential harm, but it’s a nice public relations move for the uprising we feel will come to the US at some point. However, if more companies followed this move, and the industry adopted some advertising standards, some of that uprising could still be averted.
“Sports betting should be about enhancing the way the mass market fan consumes and interacts with sports,” Said Joey Levy, Founder & CEO of Betr. “The experience should be like going to the movies and paying $20 for 2 hours of entertainment; watching a live game & spending $20 on Betr to make that game more entertaining.” That’s a healthy attitude, but won’t be enough to keep the wolves from gathering at the door.
Another move that’s been popular in the UK and across Europe, where sports betting has been an accepted social activity for decades longer that America, is to handle younger adults differently that older ones. Betr seems to be aware of this, too. In addition to the decision to ban credit cards, the company is also the first to place deposit limits on the accounts of those aged 21 to 25 years old. We feel that this is the sort of thing that will become the “norm” for US operators in the coming years.
Levy added that “We will win by becoming the primary app folks use to enhance the way they watch sports. As sports betting proliferates nationwide, we have a responsibility as leaders to get this right.” We certainly hope he is correct, as taking the high rode is these situations can mean giving up market share and profits. So, here’s to hoping that while the ‘big boys’ fight it out via relentless commercials, the move to the moral high ground pays off for Betr.