Credit card betting banned | RACING.COMJanuary 14, 2020
An industry-wide ban on betting firms allowing consumers to use credit cards to gamble across Britain will be enforced on April 14.
The ban, announced by the Gambling Commission on Tuesday morning, will apply to all online and offline gambling products with the exception of non-remote lotteries.
The announcement follows the review of online gambling by the industry’s watchdog and the government’s review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures.
A total of 10.5 million adults in Britain gamble online – compared to 24 million adult gamblers overall – with 800,000 consumers using a UK-issued credit card to gamble online in 2018 according to financial institution UK Finance.
Neil McArthur, chief 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.
“We 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.”
McArthur added: “We realise this change will inconvenience those consumers who use credit cards responsibly but we’re satisfied reducing the risk of harm to other consumers means that action must be taken. But we will evaluate the ban and watch closely for any unintended circumstances for consumers.
“The ban is part of our ongoing work to reduce gambling harm. We also need to continue the work we’ve been doing with gambling operators and the finance industry to ensure consumers only gamble with money they can afford to spend.”
Research undertaken by the Gambling Commission revealed 22 per cent of online gamblers using credit cards are classed as problem gamblers.
Helen Whately, culture minister, said: “While millions gamble responsibly, I’ve 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’s absolutely right that we act decisively to protect them.
“We will be carrying out a review of the Gambling Act to ensure it is fit for the digital age and we will be launching a new nationwide addiction strategy in 2020.
“We will not hesitate to take any further action necessary to protect people from gambling harm.”
The ban will also apply to credit card payments made through e-wallets such as PayPal, and it is understood the major e-wallet providers will be able to implement measures to prevent credit card payments for gambling.
The Gambling Commission’s crackdown was welcomed by GambleAware, a charity committed to minimising gambling-related harm.
Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware, said: “It’s essential every effort is made to protect those who may be at risk of experiencing…