Published: Wed, January 15, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

UKGC Proceeds with Credit Card Gambling Ban to Boost Protection

UKGC Proceeds with Credit Card Gambling Ban to Boost Protection

The Gambling Commission has announced that they are going ahead with their proposed ban on the use of credit cards for gambling.

Just 12 months ago, BBC Radio 5 Live also exposed how easy it was to continue to bet even when signed up to GAMSTOP, by opening a new online betting account using a different email address and changing only one letter in his name.

"The Gambling Commission has announced a ban on gambling businesses allowing consumers in Great Britain to use credit cards to gamble", a statement said.

As a result, the Gambling Commission is going ahead with a total ban on credit cards for online gambling.

The Gambling Commission took the decision as part of its tightening of gambling problem safeguards which includes banning all gambling credit cards.

It has been welcomed by Gloucester MP Richard Graham, who said: "The next vital step forward- gambling on credit cards to be banned".

This will help stop the most problematic of gamblers running up such huge debts, the GC believes, citing cases where gamblers have been able to build up "tens of thousands of pounds" in debt thanks to ever-increasing credit card limits and financial providers more than happy to lend high-price money to people without checking if they're likely to be able to pay it back before they die.

The ban, which comes into effect on 14 April, follows the Commission's review of online gambling and the Government's Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures.

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It is predicted to affect 24 million adults across Britain, with 10.5 million of those gambling online.

Culture Minister Helen Whately commented: "Whilst millions gamble responsibly, I have also met people whose lives have been turned upside down by gambling addiction". Furthermore, the regulators have unveiled stricter identity and age checks for online gambling customers, with the gambling operators being obliged to carry out quicker and more in-depth checks in order to make sure no underage individuals or former gambling addicts get access to their services. We will not hesitate to take any further action necessary to protect people from gambling harm'.

It is thought that around 800,000 people use credit cards to gamble, with the regulator's own data showing that more than 165,000 customers made £46 million worth of credit card deposits in February a year ago.

Under the new regulations, it will also be mandatory for all online gambling operators to participate in the self-exclusion scheme provided by Gamstop and offer this to all customers from 31 March.

The research reveals that most members of the public involved were in favour of a ban on credit card gambling, including people who have been negatively affected by credit card gambling and those who have not.

'It has been a long time in coming and we are glad the Commission have acted decisively on this matter'.

Last year GVC Holdings, the parent company of Ladbrokes and Coral among others, said credit cards represented only six per cent of deposit value across their United Kingdom brands, adding: "Any potential restriction on their use is expected to have a minimal impact on revenue".

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