MSE News

Gambling on credit cards to be banned from April

Gambling businesses will be banned from allowing consumers in England, Scotland and Wales to use credit cards to gamble from April.

The ban will apply to all online and offline gambling products with the exception of lotteries where the payment is taken face-to-face – for example, if you were to buy a National Lottery ticket in a shop.

The new rule will come into effect on 14 April 2020 and the Gambling Commission, which regulates gambling, says it will provide protection for vulnerable consumers.

Why is the ban being introduced?

The Gambling Commission says that 24 million adults in Great Britain gamble and that 800,000 consumers use credit cards to do so.

Separate research undertaken by the commission shows that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers – with even more at some risk of harm.

What does the Gambling Commission say?

Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur 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.

"We know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability. There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent."

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