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Customers will soon be unable to use credit cards for placing bets in a move announced by the Gambling Commission. The regulatory body recently announced the move to help limit financial harm to participants.
Speaking to the BBC, the chief executive of the organisation 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.”
He continued: “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.”
This ban comes into effect on the 14th April and applies to just about every form of gambling in the UK. The main exception will be lotteries run for good causes as well as the National Lottery. In the case of the latter, credit cards can still be used to buy tickets providing they are purchased with other products.
Although it’s possible to use credit cards on many gambling websites, this will not be permitted after the 14th of April. Research published through The Independent estimates approximately 10.5 million people in the UK place bets online. Furthermore around 800,000 use credit cards to gamble.
Although many play responsibly, gambling with a credit card can be a problem due to participants betting with money they do not physically have.
“Looking at eight to ten years to pay this off”
In the same report, the BBC interviewed Josh – a man who ran up significant gambling debts on his credit card. After a few days playing online, and finding himself £600 down, he did “the worst thing possible”:
“I chased the loss, which everyone says not to do, they say stop, don’t chase losses, you’re always going to be down in the long run,” said Josh.
“But I didn’t believe it so I just carried on going. It progressed without me even realising to between £20,000 and £25,000, all on credit cards.”
According to Josh, his debts are probably going to be repaid in up to ten years. In this situation, we’d recommend he speaks to us. There are many debt solutions available, including an IVA, which could half his repayment time and even possibly write off part of the debt.
The ban on credit card gambling will almost certainly reduce the number of people getting into debt through participating. However, if you’ve already accumulated large sums by betting online, this news will probably cause no comfort.
After all, no debts will be written off, and you will still have to pay the money you owe – even though gambling companies will soon be prohibited from taking money through credit cards.
In this situation, you may wish to speak to one of our trusted advisors. If you’re struggling to make ends meet and wondering how it’s possible to repay gambling debt, we could find a solution for you.
Debt write off applies to unsecured debts and on completion of an IVA. A debt write off amount of between 20% and 80% is realistic, however the debt write off amount for each customer differs depending upon their individual financial circumstances and is subject to the approval of their creditors.
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Free money help and advice can be found at the MoneyAdviceService.org.uk