Gambling with Credit Cards
There is an increasing problem occurring with gamblers gaining addictions and this is being enhanced by the fact that they can access gaming and gambling sites at any time of the day or night, thanks to the internet. But these online casinos have also enabled gamblers to spend literally any quantity of money to be able to place their wagers. This has been viewed as one of the most dangerous aspects of online gambling because credit cards enable large and often unlimited quantities of money to placed, where the consequences of the actions are not dealt with until a much later time.
With over 10.5 million adult Britons gambling online, the use of credit cards needs to be looked into before it becomes an even larger problem because already, 22% of these gamblers are using their credit cards to place bets. This has been recognised as a high-risk problem, with the Gambling Commission chief executive stating that the use of credit cards during gambling online “can lead to significant financial harm.” The risk of such financial harm needs to be reduced, but what can be done to protect gamblers, especially when they are at their most vulnerable?
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Why is Credit Card Gambling so Bad?
Gambling with the funds from a credit card can be hugely dangerous because there are so many ways in which they can make you vulnerable. Firstly, they can lead to severe financial harm which may not only impact the gambler themselves but their wider lives, such as their families, property and work life, due to the no-limit debt which can accrue on a credit card. Secondly, this debt is often made worse due to the fees which the credit card companies charge. This makes the already difficult financial situation worse and often has an even more negative impact on the gambler and their loved ones.
To try and make this situation better, many gamblers try and place more bets or larger bets to try and win larger sums of money in order to be able to clear their credit card debts and recover the cost of the fees charged by the credit card companies. But this rarely works and should never be encouraged as it commonly leads to much larger debt problems.
Devastating Effects of Credit Card Gambling
In the worst-case scenarios, there are some people whose mental health takes a significant decline when they have been gambling using money that they do not have and have been losing a lot which in turn creates a large amount of debt. With credit card companies often adding charges on to these transactions for gambling online too, the money to increases until this spirals out of control. Unable to see a way out of the debt and financial crisis, gamblers in this situation often hit rock bottom unsure of what to do. They end up in a mental health crisis and there have been many recorded cases which have led to suicide.
This is a position that no one should find themselves in but many sadly do. It is because they require an increasing level of dopamine which is released to get a buzz from a win when they are gambling online. There are some people who are more likely to be at risk of becoming either addicted to gambling or at risk of getting themselves into debt. But whoever you are, there needs to be something to prevent any more untimely and unnecessary deaths from occurring. For this reason, the Gambling Commission has decided to ban credit cards from being used on online gambling sites and online casinos to protect gamblers and players from harm.
Credit Card Ban Details
It has been recently revealed that the credit card ban will be put in to place in relation to all online and offline gambling products in order to keep gamblers safe and to prevent debt from getting out of control. But there is one exception to this rule. Lotteries.
Lotteries are going to be able to continue to use credit cards are a means of payment as they are for a good cause but there are going to be other rules put in to place for their purchase. These include the fact that they will have to be purchased with other items, such as your groceries when you are in your local newsagent or supermarket, so you will not just be able to go and purchase only your lottery ticket and nothing else if you are paying with your credit card. The other part of the deal between the Gambling Commission and the Lotteries is that they must provide increased protection to people who are seen or known to have vulnerabilities.
What happens and when?
The use of credit cards to credit online gambling accounts will be banned as of the 31st March 2020 and as of this date, all online gambling operators will have a legal obligation to participate and offer the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme to their players. This is where players are able to state that they have a gambling problem and Gamstop will prevent them from accessing any British gambling website or app for an amount of time that the player has stated. Not only does this give players time to break any possible addiction but it also prevents or reduces any debts that may be building up for players, protecting them in another way.
Already, all online sites are legal obligates to verify the age of the player, as well as clearly stating the markers of harm, affordability checks, additional research funding, conduct codes, education and treatment to ensure that players are safe whilst participating in online gambling. But it is thought that Gamstop will be a welcome addition to this already thorough checks, increasing the safety and lowering the risk of anyone who wants to place an online bet. It seems that though some may find the credit card ban limiting, it is actually going to more welcome than problematic for the majority.
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