Betting using credit cards will be banned from the middle of April, the Gambling Commission has announced.
Neil McArthur, the organisation’s Chief Executive, said the ban should reduce the risk of people, “gambling with money they do not have”.
According to the Commission, 22 per cent of those who use credit cards to gamble online are classed as problem gamblers.
‘More to do’
McArthur said his organisation knows of “examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability”.
Payment services such as PayPal are also expected to be included in the ban.
The new regulations come into force on 14 April. The National Lottery will be exempt.
Culture Minister Helen Whately welcomed the changes, but said, “there is more to do. We will be carrying out a review of the Gambling Act to ensure it is fit for the digital age”.
“We will be carrying out a review of the Gambling Act to ensure it is fit for the digital age”. Culture Minister Helen Whately
Campaigners welcomed the changes, but said they had taken too long to come.
Carolyn Harris MP said: “I think it’s brilliant that this is happening but it should have happened a long time ago”.
“People are losing their homes, their dignity. They’ve been able to take out eight, nine, 10 cards and max them all out gambling an obscene amount of money”, she commented.
Adam Bradford, co-founder of the Safer Online Gambling Group, agreed, adding, “the gambling industry still needs to improve in many areas”.
Last month, former England star Andros Townsend opened up about how gambling almost ruined his football career.
Townsend wrote: “I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside a nightclub in my life.
“And yet I still managed to lose 46 grand with just one tap on my phone. I didn’t even have to leave my room.
“I’m probably the only lad in history to lose £46,000 lying in bed on a Wednesday night in Blackpool.”