UK’s Liberal Democrats have called for a ban on gambling with credit cards and have expressed their concerns about the increasing cases of gambling addiction and problem gambling in the country.
The party seeks to restrict the use of credit cards at retail betting shops and also on online gambling sites. They have also called for making it illegal for operators to accept payments through credit cards on their platform.
Layla Moran, the Lib Dems’ spokesperson on culture, told iNews: “Problem gambling often has a pernicious and incredibly sad impact on the lives of thousands of people up and down our country.
“It is heart-breaking to see many vulnerable people fall further into debt as gambling becomes ever-more consuming.
“But, as ever with this mean-spirited Government, the Conservatives have neglected the problem. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming to support the Lib Dem-led initiative to reduce the maximum stake for FOBTs and have no interest in protecting the vulnerable any further.
“Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats will take bold and decisive action to tackle problem gambling.”
While the UK Gambling Commission has already launched a consultation on banning gambling with credit cards, Banking giant HSBC UK has partnered with gambling charities Gamcare and Gamble Aware to launch a self-restriction tool for its customers allowing them to block gambling transactions.
Now HSBC UK account holders with a debit or credit card can avail of the self-restriction feature through ‘Manage Cards’ section on the HSBC UK mobile app, as well as via telephone banking or by visiting a branch.
Once a customer is registered, all gambling-related transactions will be automatically blocked. The feature can only be reversed after a minimum of 24 hours of cooling off period.
The bank said that about 504,000 of its UK customers made monthly gambling payments in 2018, with an average transaction value of £52.50.