Credit card ban from 14 April 2020 across all UK gambling

As expected, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) issued the first regulatory enforcement of 2020 by banning credit cards across UK gambling. The ban will be effective from 14 April 2020 and till then all licensed operators will have to undertake all adjustments needed.

Credit card ban will be applied across both land-based and online operators.

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.

We also 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.”

DCMS Culture Minister Helen Whately supported the UKGC decision. Commenting on the credit card ban she said: “Whilst millions gamble responsibly, I have also met people whose lives have been turned upside down by gambling addiction. 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.”

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