The UK government has just announced that it would be banning gambling using credit cards starting April 14, 2020.
Based on research on problem gambling by government and shadow ministers as well as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), it is discovered that over twenty million British adults gamble, with 10 million of these gambling online.
The reports also reveal that 20% of people who gamble or bet online use a credit card to do so. Most of those who use credit cards to gamble are classified as having a gambling addiction problem.
Neil McArthur, UK Gambling Commission CEO since 2018, commented on the announcement saying, “Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimize the risks of harm to customers from gambling with money they do not have.”
McArthur also explained the amounts being wagered on credit cards and chasing losses on credit card fees saying, “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.”
Research, however, suggests that credit card gambling can contribute not only to problem gambling, but relapses of recovering gambling addicts.
Helen Whately ,MP for Faversham and Mid Kent and current government Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism said, “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.”
Once the ban on credit card gambling is introduced, it will ban all offline and online gambling activities save for lottery products for good causes—which include more gambling protection for vulnerable adults.