The UK Gambling Commission has announced that a ban on consumers using credit cards for gambling will come into place on April 14th, 2020. The ban is the result of several reviews of the industry by both the UK Gambling Commission and the government.
24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those gambling online. UK Finance estimates that around 800,000 consumers are using credit cards to bet. Separate research undertaken by the Commission shows that approximately 22% of online gamblers that are doing so are classed as problem gamblers.
These issues and growing concerns around the industry have led to several investigations into the industry in recent years. The decision to ban consumers using credit cards to gamble is being seen as a big step in the right direction. Neil McCarthur, the Cheif Executive of the Gambling Commission, said, “Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.’
Culture Minister Helen Whately also noted how important this ban could be; she said: “There is clear evidence of harm from consumers betting with money they do not have, so it is absolutely right that we act decisively to protect them.”
How many people gamble in the UK?
Gambling is big business in the UK, with a total of 24 million adults gambling per year. Approximately 10.5 million of these do it online, and 22% of those doing it are using credit cards.
McCarthur, said, “Research shows that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards are problem gamblers, with even more suffering some form of gambling harm.
The main issue surrounding the use of credit cards for online gambling is how easily it allows consumers to accumulate debt and get themselves into potentially serious trouble. With few online sites placing restrictions on their users, it becomes easy for those with gambling problems to keep spending that is not their own.
What does the ban apply to?
The credit card ban will come into place on April 14th and will apply to all UK gambling operators. The ban will apply to both online and offline gambling establishments.
The ban will see customers no longer be given the option to sign up and deposit money on gambling websites using credit cards.
The national lottery will not be included in this ban, so consumers will still be able to use credit cards to purchase lottery tickets both offline and online.
The credit card ban will only apply to players that are based in the UK and to UK based gambling operators.
What Help is Available to Put You in Control of Your Gambling?
The new credit card ban looks to be a step in the right direction when it comes to helping those with gambling problems.
This is not the only new rule that is being brought into place either. As of March 31st, all online gambling operators will be legally required to offer customers the chance to sign up to the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme.
Gamstop is a service that allows people to impose a ban on themselves from all British gambling websites and apps for a specified period of time.
Gamstop is one of several services that exist to help those who are struggling with gambling issues. Gamblers Anonymous UK have a chain of support groups all across the country where gambling addicts can go and share their experiences in a safe and understanding environment.
Gamcare is another company that provides help and support for those with gambling issues. They run the national gambling helpline (0808 8020 133) and also offer face to face counselling in various places across the UK.