Gambling with Credit Cards to be Banned in the UK
The Labour Party in the UK will be banning the use of credit cards to place bets, which will affect annual transactions worth billions of pounds. The move comes as a result of efforts to crack down on the gambling industry and to prevent the spread of a gambling “epidemic.”
Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour, will be publishing the conclusions to the review of the gambling regulations later this week. The regulations had been liberalized by the Tony Blair administration in 2007.
The complete list of proposals includes a ban on the use of credit cards to place bets. The practice has been blamed for putting gamblers in much greater debt than usual.
According to a report from the Gambling Commission, around £8.6 billion of the online gambling sector’s revenue comes from credit card bets, which accounts for roughly 20% of the overall revenue, which is £43 billion.
The new proposals also suggest a mandatory levy on gambling operators, more funds for treating gambling addiction, and rules that will allow banks to prevent gambling transactions for problem gamblers.
A major concern
According to Watson, gambling had become a major concern. In a recent statement, he referred to it as an “epidemic” and “public health emergency.” The leader believes that existing gambling regulations aren’t tough enough and need to be revised.
He also spoke of how patients are misdiagnosed, and that addiction treatment in the country wasn’t up to standards. Currently, there are very few specialists in the UK who can accurately diagnose gambling addiction.
A thorough review
The review was done in consultation with specialists in gambling addiction, addicts themselves, gambling organizations, and several charities to gain a fairly accurate understanding of the situation. The new regulations also come at a time when in-play betting is gaining ground as a major offering within the gambling sector.
Several TV ads have popped up promoting the idea of placing wagers on the next goal-scorer or the results of the game. According to Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones of the National Problem Gambling Clinic, gambling advertisements played a major role in causing a relapse among gambling addicts.
The wide availability of online betting options on smartphones is also said to have had an influence on the efforts to bring about change. There is concern that people with mental health issues and youngsters would easily fall prey to this.