People will no longer be allowed to use credit cards to gamble online after a ban was announced by the Gambling Commission.
It comes as the new NHS Northern Gambling Service has opened across the North of England, with clinics in Leeds, Manchester and Sunderland.
Matt Gaskell, clinical lead for the Northern Gambling Service, has welcomed the decision:
“A very positive step and welcomed, but access and use of credit will remain. Hopefully this is the first of many steps to come.”
A very positive step & welcomed, but access and use of credit will remain. Hopefully this is the first of many steps to come. https://t.co/81qFJEgom5
— Matt Gaskell (@mgaskell12) January 14, 2020
24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those gambling online. UK Finance estimate that 800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble.
They also found that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers – with even more at some risk of harm.
Kelly Field has been campaigning for banning credit cards after she used them to facilitate her gambling addiction:
“Within six months, I’d racked up £10,500 on one credit card which I then went on to get a further five credit cards, totalling over £30,000.
“You lose touch with reality and the money’s not money, it’s just digits on a screen.”
After years of saying this I’m very pleased with this decision. A step. In the right direction.
Gambling watchdog plans to ban online credit card bets https://t.co/KHY1wJdU1n
— Gamble free girl (@kfield82) January 13, 2020
Barnsley-based video production company Deadline Digital produced a case study video with Kelly as part of the launch of the new NHS Northern Gambling Service.
In the video, Kelly talks frankly about how she began gambling through online bingo sites and the coping mechanisms she has in place to ensure she doesn’t gamble again.
You can watch all of the NHS Northern Gambling Service case studies here.