UK government contemplates banning credit card gambling

By Nathan Joyes

The UK government is weighing up the possibility of banning the use of credit cards to gamble, in an attempt to battle problem gambling.

Culture Secretary, Jeremy Wright, has asked for retail banks and bookmakers to meet, discussing whether people should bet with money they technically don’t have.

As well as reviewing credit cards, the government will be revisiting the use of self-exclusion schemes and ways to improve them.

Banks including Barclays, Lloyds, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland have already given customers the opportunity to block spending on gambling through mobile banking apps.

Wright said: "Self-exclusion schemes are essential but must be properly policed and effective to support the individual that has taken the decision to opt-out."

The government has already reduced the maximum stake of fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2, which will take effect in April. Gambling firms have also agreed to voluntarily ban betting adverts during pre-watershed live sports, which will begin at the start of the new 2019/20 Premier League season.

Wright added: "Protecting people from the risks of gambling related harm is vital and all businesses with connections to gambling – be that bookmakers, social media platforms or banks – must be socially responsible.

“The government will not hesitate to act if businesses don’t continue to make progress in this area and do all they can to ensure vulnerable people are protected.”

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