Charity welcomes ban on credit card gambling

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The Safer Online Gambling Group said the move had been “a long time coming”.

14th January 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

A charity has welcomed a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling, but warned the move is not a “silver bullet”.

The UK’s Gambling Commission announced this week that businesses will no longer be able to take credit card payments for gambling purposes from 14 April.

Research has suggested 800,000 people in the UK use credit cards to gamble, with around 22% of these thought to be problem gamblers.

The ban will apply to all online and offline gambling products with the exception of non-remote lotteries, and has been mooted as providing extra protection to vulnerable people.

Announcing the ban, Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur 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. 

‘“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability.

“There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent.

Adam Bradford, co-founder of the Safer Online Gambling Group, welcomed the move.

He said: “It has been a long time in coming and we are glad the commission have acted decisively on this matter. The additional requirement for all online gambling websites to ensure they are signed up to blocking software GamStop is also a further good move to ensure that those with a gambling problem can get help and support in a consistent way throughout the industry.

“This, however, is not a silver bullet to solve the problem as the gambling industry still needs to improve in many areas - for instance, performing better affordability checks on players and being more careful with its advertising. I hope the industry will react positively to today's news and continue to strive to be more responsible."