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Credit card gambling to be banned by April

14 January, 2020

The Gambling Commission has announced plans to ban people from gambling using credit cards.

The ban will begin in April and apply to online gambling companies as well as high-street betting shops. Only so-called ‘non-remote’ lotteries (which are not for commercial gain) and the National Lottery are exempt.

The gambling regulator said the move will provide “a significant layer of additional protection to vulnerable people”. Research carried out by the Gambling Commission shows that out of the 10.5m people in the UK who gamble online, 22 per cent are classified as problem gamblers and, according to UK Finance, almost 8 per cent rely on their credit cards.

Neil McArthur, the CEO 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.”

The regulator has also unveiled plans to make every online gambling provider sign up to the self-exclusion scheme GAMSTOP by the end of March.

GAMSTOP prevents users from accessing online gambling services for a period of either six months, a year, or five years. Studies have shown that self-exclusion is the most effective way for problem gamblers to get back in control of their spending.

Culture minister Helen Whately said: “We have been clear to all businesses that have connections to gambling, such as operators, social media platforms and banks, that they must be socially responsible and use the power of technology and data to help consumers manage their spending and protect them from harm.”

The free Know the Stakes resource pack – developed by Parent Zone in cooperation with GambleAware – contains advice for both families and professionals so they can support young people to stay in control of their finances and understand the risks of gambling.