UK – The UK government has today announced that gambling using credit cards will be banned from April 14th 2020.
Following reviews in to problem gambling by government and shadow ministers along with the UK Gambling Commission, it is reported that over twenty million adult Brits gamble, with around 10 million gambling online.
It is also reported that over 20% of people who gamble or bet online do so with a credit card, many of which are classed as having a gambling addiction or problem.
Neil McArthur, who has been CEO of the UK Gambling Commission since 2018 commented on the announcement:
“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”.
McArthur also commented on the amounts being wagered on credit cards and chasing credit card fee losses:
“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.”
Reports and research suggest that gambling on credit cards can contribute to not only problem gambling, but to re-lapses of former gambling addicts.
Helen Whately, who is MP for Faversham and Mid Kent and current government Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism commented:
“Whilst millions gamble responsibly, I have also met people whose lives have been turned upside down by gambling addiction… 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.”
When the credit card gambling ban is introduced, it will ban all offline and online gambling activities except lottery products for good causes – which have extra gambling protection for vulnerable adults.
The ban also extends to third party e-wallets that are funded by credit cards, including PayPal and Skrill.