Use of credit cards in online gambling is outlawed by industry regulator
GAMBLERS will no longer be able to use credit cards when placing their bets online.
New rules, announced by the Gambling Commission – the industry regulator – bans all gambling with credit cards as of April 14.
Punters will instead have to use either a debit card or cash deposited into an account.
It follows concerted efforts by the government to address the issue of problem gambling.
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.’
The government has come under pressure to introduce bans for the use of credit cards for online bets over the past two years by charity groups including Gamble Aware and Citizens Advice.
It is thought that around 800,000 people use credit cards to gamble, with the regulator's own data showing that more than 165,000 customers made £46m worth of credit card deposits in February last year.
Culture Minister Helen Whately 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.’