RSPH welcomes ban on credit card gambling

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The Royal Society for Public Health is pleased to welcome today’s (14 January 2020) announcement from the Gambling Commission that gambling with credit cards will be banned from 14 April 2020.

24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those gambling online. UK Finance estimate that 800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble. In March 2019, Commission research revealed that one in five (22%) of online gamblers that use credit cards are classed as problem gamblers.

The ban follows the Commission’s review of online gambling and the Government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures. Under the new regulations, it will also be mandatory for all online gambling operators to participate in the self-exclusion scheme provided by Gamstop and offer this to all customers from 31 March.

The ban, which will apply to all online and offline gambling products with the exception of non-remote lotteries.

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of RSPH, said: “This decision marks a clear and welcome step in the right direction toward tackling gambling related harm.

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.

Throughout 2020, we look forward to working with the Gambling Health Alliance to evaluate the current system and take forward evidence based recommendations for a wider package of measures to tackle gambling related harm and protect the public’s health.”