Scots are to be banned from using credit cards across all betting platforms in an industry shake-up which hopes to control problem gambling and help vulnerable customers.

Announced by The Gambling Commission, following extensive industry and government reviews, the ban will come into force on April 14.

All betting activities, both online and offline, will be subject to the ban, with the only exception being “non-remote lotteries” such as the National Lottery – which sees its tickets bought in stores.

The Commission stated that it would be a “disproportionate burden on retailers” to disallow credit card payments if the tickets were purchased alongside other items, but said lotteries had the lowest problem gambling rate.

Glasgow Times:

Figures from The Commission show that 24 million adults across the nation gamble, with 10.5 million doing so online.

Additional research revealed that 22% of online gamblers covering the cost with credit cards fall into the ‘problem gambler’ category.

Speaking of the ban, Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur, 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.

“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability.

“There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent.”

Glasgow Times:

Under the new regulations, all online betting sites will be required to take part in the GAMSTOP scheme and must offer it to customers from March 31.

The self-exclusion programme allows those who sign up to be ‘blocked’ from all British gambling apps and sites for a set period of time.

Culture Minister Helen Whately added: “We have been clear to all businesses that have connections to gambling, such as operators, social media platforms and banks, that they must be socially responsible and use the power of technology and data to help consumers manage their spending and protect them from harm.

“I have been encouraged by the majority of major high street banks introducing measures to allow customers to switch off spending on gambling through mobile apps.

“By making it a regulatory requirement for all online gambling websites licensed in Great Britain to sign up to GAMSTOP. I am confident that people who have taken the significant step to opt-out of gambling will be well supported, alongside a wide range of other tools.”

The announcement caused gambling firms to see their shares drop by over 3% before quickly recovering later in the day (January 13, 2019).

Mr McArthur went on to warn that although the ban is likely to reduce gambling harm, it will need to be accompanied by other efforts.

“The ban is part of our ongoing work to reduce gambling harm,” he said.

“We also need to continue the work we have been doing with gambling operators and the finance industry to ensure consumers only gamble with money they can afford to spend.”

If you’re struggling with gambling debt, talk to Carrington Dean. The friendly advisors are on hand to offer tailored advice and support to suit your needs. Call 0808 301 9819 for advice today.