Gambling can be a lot of fun. But, it can also be as addictive as any illegal drug. In the UK alone around 24 million adults admit to gambling and 10.5 million of them gamble online. According to the charity Gambling Addiction, it is estimated that around 350,000 people are suffering from gambling addiction in the UK. Gambling in a multi-million-pound industry and there is big money to be made and lost in casinos across the UK. So, what happens when the fun gets the best of you and you lose too much money in a casino? How can you ensure you and your friends don’t fall victim to the moreish nature of the game? Well, the recent changes in UK gambling legislation are likely to help restrict the amount of money you lose when gambling.
What are the new changes to UK gambling law?
On April 14th, 2020, a new law involving casino payment methods will be passed to ban betting firms from accepting customers’ payment on credit cards. The ban, which was announced by the Gambling Commission and will be instigated in April 2020, will apply to all online and offline gambling products. This covers all gambling except for non-remote lotteries where two or more betting parties get together so they can bet against each other, but no betting company will have liability for their bets.
Why are these legal new changes being implemented?
The announcement of the ban was inspired by a review of online gambling by the industry’s watchdog and another government review of gaming machines and social responsibility measures. Statistics from the financial institution UK Finance suggests that 800,000 consumers used a UK-issued credit card to gamble online in 2018. Furthermore, research undertaken from the Gambling Commission has shown that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards are classed as problem gamblers. Then, once you are in debt on your credit card, interest rates can make it extremely difficult to pay back your debts and the problem will grow steadily worse.
What does all this mean for gamblers in the UK?
Well, for those who gamble regularly and are prone to overspending there will still be a major threat if you continue gambling. Obviously, you can still irreparably damage your financial position if you spend every penny of your savings, and you will still end up in debt if you overspend to the point where you can’t afford your rent and other living expenses. However, these legal changes are still likely to limit the amount of debt you can take on while in the depths of a betting binge. Overall, we feel that by not allowing UK players to deposit using credit cards these new laws are likely to improve the gambling problem in the UK. It is a good thing as it will limit the amount problem gamblers can inflict on themselves while still allowing those recreational gamblers who can afford to play for a bit of fun to continue doing so. But, whether or not this law is strict enough to really make a difference remains to be seen. For more tips on how to stay safe while gambling, take a look at our article ‘6 Things You Should Know About Online Gaming in London’.