Can Gambling Ruin My Credit Score? Experts Have The Answer

6 min

Online gambling is a popular pastime for many people. However, it’s important to understand how gambling can impact your credit score. Your credit score is a key factor that lenders use to determine your creditworthiness.

A poor credit score can negatively affect your ability to get loans or credit cards. So can gambling actually ruin your credit?

Let’s take a closer look!

Does gambling influence the credit score?

Your credit score is calculated based on several factors, including your payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and credit mix. Gambling itself does not directly impact your credit score. However, the way you pay for gambling or handle gambling debts can.

For example, if you consistently make late payments on credit cards because you used the funds for gambling, this will lower your score. Maxing out credit cards to finance gambling also increases your credit use ratio, which can substantially drop your score. Too many cash advances used for gambling can also damage your credit.

Additionally, if you take out payday loans or go into collections from gambling debts, this can devastate your credit. Signing up for new credit cards frequently to fund a gambling habit will also take its toll on your score by increasing hard inquiries.

Overall, it’s not the gambling itself that hurts your credit, but the resulting financial and borrowing behaviors. Gambling responsibly within your budget is key to having good credit.

What can gamblers see on their Credit Report

A UK credit report provides detailed information on your credit history and standing with lenders. As a gambler, here are some key items that may show up on your credit report:

  • Late payments, defaults, or collections from gambling-related loans or debts such as credit cards, payday loans, or personal loans used for gambling.
  • Maxed out credit cards used for gambling purchases. High balances compared to limits hurt scores.
  • Numerous cash advances used for gambling.
  • Hard credit inquiries from applying for new credit cards or loans to fund gambling. Having too many will affect it but temporarily.
  • Public records such as bankruptcies, judgments, or tax liens caused by gambling losses or debts.
  • Lack of diverse credit history if only gambling-related debts appear.

A credit report provides critical visibility into how gambling impacts your borrowing behaviours and creditworthiness over time. Monitoring your report helps spot and address issues early.

Betting with credit cards

In April 2020, new laws went into effect in the UK banning gambling businesses from allowing consumers to use credit cards to gamble. This includes online gambling sites and apps.

The UK Gambling Commission instituted this ban to help consumers control their gambling spend and minimise the accumulation of credit card debt from gambling activities. Before the ban, 22% of online gamblers used credit cards to fund their gambling.

The law change has significantly impacted online gambling behaviours and reduced issues of consumers getting overextended with credit card debt from gambling.

Our specialists always recommend debit or prepaid cards or ewallets in casinos due to safety and simplicity reasons.

Gambling and bank statements

Any gambling winnings, losses, or transfers that show up on your bank statements can impact your financial reputation.

If you have large gambling payments or transfers, your bank may see this as a red flag. It might make them question how reliable you are with money. Frequent big gambling transactions can look like high risk behavior to them.

Also, if you deposit any major gambling winnings, you need to properly document this and report it to the UK tax authorities. If you don’t report large winning deposits correctly, it could hurt your financial credibility if you get audited.

However, gambling losses and transfers typically won’t affect your credit or finances. They are not tax deductible in the UK.

The bottom line is, responsible gambling habits, reporting winnings properly, and staying on top of your finances will help maintain your reputation and credit score.

Good credit score and its importance to UK gamblers

Having a prime credit score (700+) unlocks better credit offers and rates for UK gamblers. Whether you’re applying for a personal loan to consolidate debts, financing a large purchase like a car, or getting a new credit card, a higher score means better terms.

Some specific benefits of maintaining a good credit score as a gambler include:

  • Improved odds of approval for new credit cards with attractive rewards programs, signup bonuses, and lower interest rates. This allows the use of credit cards strategically for gambling purchases without accumulating high-interest charges.
  • Qualifying for top rates on personal loans that can be used to consolidate high-interest gambling-related debts into one lower monthly payment. This helps reduce the total interest paid over time.
  • Ability to qualify for 0% APR balance transfer credit cards. These allow transferring higher-interest gambling debt balances onto the new 0% card for 12-21 months to save substantially on interest.
  • Increased ability to qualify for a mortgage or lower mortgage rates which helps in purchasing a home.

Overall, a good credit score saves UK gamblers money through improved credit offers. It also provides peace of mind knowing your credit standing is strong.

Steps to maintain your credit score and gamble

Responsible gambling habits paired with smart credit behaviour can help you maintain a healthy credit score. Here are some top tips:

Don’t borrow money for gambling

Avoid using credit cards, payday loans, or other loans to finance gambling activities. This prevents the accumulation of debts that can spiral out of control. Only gamble with money you actually have available to mitigate risk.

Always know the latest law updates

Stay up to date on UK laws related to gambling winnings and losses. While winnings must be reported to HMRC, losses are generally not tax deductible. Keep detailed records of your gambling history and taxes. Consult an accountant with questions.

Use prepaid cards or debit cards

Funded prepaid cards or debit cards allow you to safely gamble online or in person without credit impacts. Set a strict budget on prepaid card loads to control spending.

Consolidate debts

If you have existing gambling-related credit card debts, consider consolidating them through a personal loan or low-rate balance transfer card to reduce interest charges. Pay down balances faster.

Review credit reports regularly

Regularly check your credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion to spot any negative impacts from gambling early. Address issues quickly to minimise credit damage.

Proper gambling habits along with financial responsibility allow you to enjoy gambling while maintaining a prime credit score. Make sure to consult credit experts for guidance managing gambling’s influence on your borrowing and credit standing.

Ultimately, gamble responsibly, spend within your means, and let Lady Luck take care of the rest!

Stay on top of your credit

So, gambling itself does not directly influence your credit score, but the financial behaviors often associated with it can certainly damage your credit standing.

Responsible gambling habits are key. Set a strict budget for gambling and stick to it.

Gambling and being financially responsible will allow you to enjoy the activity while protecting your credit score and financial reputation. Report your winnings and losses according to the UK law, and subscribe to our newsletter to see the latest guides and blog articles about hot casino topics.

AuthorMihnea MosneaguAuthor & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Mihnea’s communication skills make his articles easy to understand by the readers. He is a good analyst and a great strategist, which allows him to extract the most relevant information and then explain it so that everyone will easily understand the complicated terms of the casino world.

ReviewerAdina MinculescuSenior Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Adina’s analytical way of thinking is what gamblers need to understand the casino market. With her expertise in this niche combined with her studies in linguistic typology and hermeneutics, you will get the essential help to make informed financial decisions. Let her be your reliable guide!