In order to curb problem gambling, the UK Gaming Commission prohibits the use of credit cards to place bets, the BBC reported Tuesday (January 14).
The ban is expected to come into effect on April 14, following audits of the gambling industry by the commission and the government.
Some 24 million adults in the UK are gamers, with almost half of these people placing their bets online. A study by the UK Gaming Commission indicates that 22% of online gamblers who use credit cards to place bets are considered “problem gamblers”.
“Credit card games can cause significant financial damage. The ban we announced today should minimize the risk of harm to consumers from playing with money they don’t have, “said Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission.
He added that the commission knew of people “who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling” simply because of access to a credit card. “There is also evidence that fees charged by credit cards can make the situation worse, as the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent,” said McArthur.
The ban on credit cards affects all online and offline gambling, with the exception of “Lotteries run for good causes”. The commission said that lotteries had the lowest problem gambling rate.
“While millions of gamers play responsibly, I have also met people whose lives have been turned upside down by gambling addiction,” said Culture Minister Helen Whately. “There is clear evidence of harm that consumers are betting with money they don’t have, so it’s only fair that we act decisively to protect them.”
Gambling revenues in the UK reached £ 14.4 billion ($ 18.7 billion) between 2018 and 2019, according to data from the Gaming Commission. Online gambling company bet365 has the UK’s highest paid CEO Denise Coates, who made $ 422 million in 2019.
“We are going to apply a ban on credit cards, which is in addition to measures such as age verification; damage markers and affordability checks; additional funding for research, education and treatment; and new codes of conduct to protect the consumer, “said Brigid Simmonds, President of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).
According to the American Gaming Association, more than 38 million people – about 15% of adults in the United States – plan to bet on NFL football in 2019.