struggling-financially

What does my bank think of Gambling?

struggling-financially

What does my bank think of Gambling?

Gambling, a harmless bit of fun?

There is nothing wrong with having a little flutter at the weekend. We’ve all done it. Betting on your favourite football team can add to the excitement whilst watching the big game on Sunday, and we all know the fun of picking out a horse for the Grand National once a year.  We’ve all gambled in some way, shape or form in the past.

However, nowadays gambling follows us pretty much everywhere. From betting on sports, playing bingo or online poker, there are plenty of ways to indulge your desires. Hey, you can even bet on the winner of popular TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing and I’m A Celebrity. It’s now easier than ever to gamble from the comfort of your own home. But can these harmless flutters lead to future problems?

What does my bank think about my gambling habit?

There are many stories online of customers who have fallen foul of their bank account terms and conditions and have received notice that their account will be closed. A quick Google search for “bank closed my account for gambling” reveals over 71m search results. Generally, most banks will frown upon excessive gambling. At U, this forms part of our U Account and Card Terms and Conditions:

We may close your account if you operate your account in a manner that could be classed as non-standard use of an account, e.g. solely for gambling purposes.”

But, it can be hard to get a firm answer on how much is too much when it comes to gambling. If your account is primarily used for gambling, or if a large percentage of your monthly outgoings are gambling transactions, you may run into issues with your account.

Does gambling affect loan applications?

Put simply, yes it can. However, this depends on a number of factors, all highly individualised to each person. But there are some things that are commonly known about what loan providers look for within your financial life.

Just the fact that you gamble should not, in itself, be enough to affect any loan application. However, if the amount you spend on gambling is a high proportion of your monthly expenses, it may raise some red flags with the underwriter that the ‘future you’ may be likely to experience financial difficulties. This would generally apply to longer-term loans like mortgages but is something to be wary of if you know those little gambling transactions add up over time.

Basically, all lenders are in fact taking a gamble (pun intended) that you will be able to pay the money back to them. Some lenders will consider higher risk applicants but this would come with higher interest rates and they may offer smaller loan amounts.

Regulations require lenders to look very closely at each applicant to make sure they can afford to repay the loan. This process can involve looking at the transactions on your bank statements. If there are a lot of gambling transactions on your account, do you think you would be as appealing to a lender in comparison to someone with no gambling transactions and a healthy savings history?

How much am I gambling?

If you aren’t sure how much you are gambling, most of the online betting apps allow you to check your betting history. Some will also give you your net position which tells you the difference between the amount you have loaded onto your betting account and the amount you have withdrawn. It’s amazing how those little bets add up so be sure to check this regularly.

Am I a problem gambler?

This questionnaire by the NHS is a great tool to assess if you think your gambling might be a bit of a problem:

  • Do you bet more than you can afford to lose?
  • Do you need to gamble with larger amounts of money to get the same feeling?
  • Have you tried to win back money you have lost (chasing losses)?
  • Have you borrowed money or sold anything to get money to gamble?
  • Have you wondered whether you have a problem with gambling?
  • Has your gambling caused you any health problems, including feelings of stress or anxiety?
  • Have other people criticised your betting or told you that you had a gambling problem (regardless of whether or not you thought it was true)?
  • Has your gambling caused any financial problems for you or your household?
  • Have you ever felt guilty about the way you gamble or what happens when you gamble?

Score 0 for each time you answer “never”
Score 1 for each time you answer “sometimes”
Score 2 for each time you answer “most of the time”
Score 3 for each time you answer “almost always”

If your total score is 8 or higher, you may be a problem gambler.
Taken from Help for problem gambling - NHS

How can I stop myself from gambling?

It’s all about realising when things are starting to get out of hand. Which is easier said than done. Setting yourself a budget that you can afford can help, as long as you stick to it. Some bookmakers also have online accounts that you can top up right in the bookies. This means you don’t have to add your debit or credit card to your account making it a little harder to add more funds once they have gone.

If you feel things are getting out of control, please speak to someone. It can be a friend, colleague or even a problem gambling helpline like GamCare. There are people with special skills to help you work through any issues you have, please use them. Gambling is an addiction that can lead to serious financial issues. If you think you have a problem, please get help.