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UK Bans Use Of Credit Cards To Fund Online Gambling

New Regulations Will Go Into Effect April 14

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Using a credit card to fund online gambling deposits will no longer be permitted in the United Kingdom following the release of new regulations from the UK’s Gambling Commission Tuesday morning.

According to a BBC report, the Gambling Commission is banning the practice in an effort to curb problem gambling. The ban will go into effect on April 14 and will apply to all forms of online gambling, with the exception of charitable lotteries. Those lotteries will need to implement additional security layers to protect problem gamblers.

An estimated 24 million Brits gamble, with 10.5 million of them doing so online. Of those that use a credit card to fund their deposits, 22 percent are classified as problem gamblers.

“Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm,” said Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive. “The ban that we have announced today should minimize the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.”

In response to the regulations, stock prices of gambling companies dropped sharply. Those prices have since recovered since Tuesday morning, indicating that the market doesn’t seem too worried about these regulations hurting the industry.

Along with the credit card ban, the Gambling Commission is requiring all businesses to implement the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme. Businesses must offer the service to its customers by the end of March.

Brigid Simmonds, chairwoman of the Betting and Gaming Council, told the BBC that companies will comply with the new regulations and that adding those to already existing practices will only help lessen problem gambling.

“We will implement a ban on credit cards which adds to measures such as age verification, markets of harm and affordability checks, additional funding for research, education and treatment and new codes of conduct to protect the consumer,” said Simmonds.

One problem gambler that was interviewed by the British media company said that he had lost more than $100,000 on his credit card and that it would take him 8-10 years to pay back.