January 16, 2020 8:25 am Written by

The Use of Credit Cards to Gamble Is To Be Banned

If you don’t know already, gambling in the UK is a huge industry, it is big business. Just take a look around the High Streets and other areas of any city or town. What do you see, gambling shops, betting parlours, many places you can go and place a bet.

Don’t want to leave the warm confines of your home, then just go online. Most major gambling companies have web sites, even mobile applications to make it easier to place a wager.

Over £14 billion was spent in 2017-2018 on gambling. That’s big business.

And don’t think Bingo is not gambling, because in essence, it is gambling, and so is the Lottery.

Not only is gambling big business in the UK, it is also a big problem. Compulsive or chronic gambling, being addicted to gambling, is a huge problem here in the UK.

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, gambling is a problem for 1% of the population.

So gambling can be an issue for many, and like many other addictions or disorders, it can take a long time before someone seeks help with it. Many gamblers lose their savings, homes, and relationships due to gambling.

Like Crack Cocaine

Gambling addictions have been called similar to that of being addicted to crack cocaine. In part due to the high or euphoric feeling both produce.

Gambling and gamblers get their rush due to a psychological term called Intermittent Reinforcement.

Which is defined as, “a conditioning schedule in which a reward or punishment (reinforcement) is not administered every time the desired response is performed.”

What this means is that every time you do something you may or may not be rewarded. Such as with gambling; each time you play you may or may not win. When you do win, it is a big rush, so you are always chasing for that win or rush.

Intermittent reinforcement is the strongest form of reinforcement, so as a gambler, and having a gambling addiction, it can be very difficult to break.

How Gamblers Fund Their Addiction

If you are just a once in a while, place a bet on the ponies, or buy a lottery ticket, or play a fruit machine, then you are probably using what cash you may have on you to pay for the bet.

If you gamble on a regular basis, you may use what money you have on hand, and also in the bank. It is when you run out of money, and gambling has a hold of you in the form of an addiction, that you may turn to using credit to fund your addiction.

Using credit can be in the form of taking out a loan, borrowing from friends and family, and for many the use of credit cards. Especially if you gamble online, the use of credit and debit cards is the payment of choice.

However, as of April 14 of this year, there will be a ban on using credit cards for gambling purposes.

This is just one way to try and slow down or stop those that have gambling issues.

The Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, Neil McArthur stated, “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.”

“We realise that this change will inconvenience those consumers who use credit cards responsibly, but we are satisfied that reducing the risk of harm to other consumers means that action must be taken.”

The MP of Culture, Helen Whately stated, “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.”

“We will not hesitate to take any further action necessary to protect people from gambling harm.”

The credit card ban will be on any online and offline gambling, except lotteries. Most lotteries are for a charitable cause(s).

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