The Gambling Commission has announced a ban on gambling businesses allowing consumers in Great Britain to use credit cards to gamble. The ban will come into effect on 14th April following a public consultation last year.
24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those gambling online. UK Finance estimate that 800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble.
Separate research undertaken by the Commission shows that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers – with even more at some risk of harm.
The ban, which will apply to all online and offline gambling products with the exception of non-remote lotteries, will provide a significant layer of additional protection to vulnerable people.
Eytan Alexander, Managing Director of addiction treatment firm UKAT and former gambling addict who racked up half a million pound in credit card bets comments on today’s breaking news;
“The news today that the Gambling Commission has placed a ban on all gamblers using credit cards to place bets is certainly welcome news to me, a former prolific gambler now in recovery. It’s a relief to hear that positive steps are being taken and I truly believe it will help current and future problem gamblers who are gambling with money they don’t necessarily have.
“However, at UKAT, what we’re keen to see are steps being taken to target the VIP schemes which reward gamblers with celebrity-lifestyle perks for their high and regular bets. The VIP label makes these gamblers appear cool, elusive and respected. This could encourage younger, more vulnerable gamblers to gamble to excess in order to reach VIP status. We’d encourage the Gambling Commission to take a hard and fast line on this.”