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Regulator bans credit cards for online gambling
14 January 2020, 08:42
A major shake-up of online betting rules means punters will no longer be able to use credit cards to place bets under new rules announced by the industry regulator.
The Gambling Commission has announced from April 14, people wanting to place bets online will have to do so by using either a debit card or through cash deposited into an account.
The credit card ban affects all gambling, with the exception of the National Lottery, the Gambling Commission said.
It follows concerted efforts by the Government to address the issue of problem gambling.
Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, 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."
One caller to LBC said making betting "very easy" was a "big problem."
The caller said at one point he was "spinning a hundred-pound spin every few seconds" adding he had lost "thousands of pounds a day."
He revealed to LBC he ended up in £40,000 of debt, and he was only earning £12-15,000 a year.
LBC's James O'Brien asked if "having to transfer the money from my credit card to my current account might be a break, it might be the point at which I break that hypnotic trance."
Culture minister Helen Whately said: "There is clear evidence of harm from consumers betting with money they do not have, so it is absolutely right that we act decisively to protect them.
"In the past year we have introduced a wave of tougher measures, including cutting the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals, bringing in tighter age and identity checks for online gambling and expanding national specialist support through the NHS Long Term Plan.
"We have also secured a series of commitments from five leading gambling operators that will include £100 million funding towards treatment for problem gamblers.
"But 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 and we will be launching a new nationwide addiction strategy in 2020.
"We will not hesitate to take any further action necessary to protect people from gambling harm."