A leading public health body in the UK has welcomed the announcement by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) that gambling using credit cards will be banned from April 14.
The Royal Society for Public Health was responding to the new rules, which were revealed by the UKGC earlier this week. In a statement, the RSPH cited figures that showed 24 million people in the UK took part in some form of gambling activity, with 10.5 million choosing to do so online. They also highlighted the fact that around 800,000 people use their credit cards to finance their betting, while research commissioned by the UKGC showed that around one in five online credit card gamblers were likely to be in the category of problem gamblers.
The ban on credit card gambling is part of an ongoing process of reform of the UK gambling regulatory framework, and the ongoing reviews of the UK government and the UKGC. After several months of consultation, during which the UKGC said they were also considering a partial credit card ban, the regulator has opted for a complete ban
The move was welcomed by the Chief Executive of the RSPH, Shirley Cramer, who said that it was a clear step in the right direction:
“Credit card gambling is particularly problematic when individuals take part in gambling with money they simply do not have, often with devastating results for individuals, families and whole communities.”
Alongside the credit card ban, the UKGC have also announced that all UK online gambling firms will be obliged to take part in the official self-exclusion scheme. Operated by Gamstop, this scheme is currently supported by many of the high-profile names in the UK betting industry, but the UKGC say that all operators have to sign up by the end of March or risk losing their UK licences.