The government of the UK is working on plans to ban gambling using credit cards. It strongly believes that it would help in reducing the risks related to problem gambling behavior. Credit cards are contributing to gambling addiction according to the authorities. Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright announced that the government intends to act on this issue and follow the Labour Party’s call to restrict gambling with money people do not have.
Some estimates suggest that gambling with credit cards amounts to £8.6 billion every year. The figure was also highlighted by the Labour Party in its gambling regulations review last year. The party noted that gambling on credit launches several hundred citizens into a spiral of debt and ruins their lives. It urged the government to ban this practice.
Shadow Culture Secretary Tom Watson, deputy leader of Labour, also reiterated the party’s position on this issue recently. Wright responded to him saying that he was “sympathetic” with him and the government is considering a regulatory move for the same. While speaking at the House of Commons on Thursday, he said that the review was launched by the Gambling Commission and the authorities will follow its recommendations.
The Gambling Commission started a consultation on the matter in February and is due to publish its findings in May. In March 2018, the Commission talked about a ban or restriction on gambling via credit cards. Meanwhile, Wright is urging both gambling operators and banks to stop this practice at their end.
He had warned both gambling and financial institutions back in January, asking them to be more “socially responsible” and implement changes that could prevent gambling-related harm to people. He added that the government is willing to take action if the industry doesn’t. Several banks including Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Lloyds have already started an option to disable transactions to gambling companies.