17.012019The UK Could Ban the Use of Credit Cards in Gambling
There are some serious changes afoot in the UK gambling industry, changes that could shake things up considerably and potentially turn this country from one with an open gambling policy to one that is just as strict as many other countries.
We’ve seen changes to the way that Fixed-Online Betting Terminals are used and employed, we’ve seen limits placed on online and offline gambling and we’ve also witnessed some tax increases and regulation shifts. In recent days there has been a new issue debated: whether or not credit cards can be used to gamble.
Why Not Allow Credit Cards?
There are a few issues with allowing credit cards on gambling sites. The main issue is that it exposes problem gamblers to greater risk and to potentially greater loss. A problem gambler is someone who constantly wants to gamble and never knows when to stop. They lose every penny that they have and still feel the need to continue.
If they don’t have any money, they may borrow money from friends, they may even take out a loan. These things are not uncommon in gambling addiction. But they also take time and they require some level of humiliation. In fact, the point that many problem gamblers realise they have an issue and realise that it’s time to stop, is the point the lose their money and have to sink as low as to borrow from friends.
The issue with credit cards is that there is no cool down period. They have a instant loan in the palm of their hand that they can use it to gamble money they don’t have. As any problem gambler will tell you, you are at your weakest when you have just lost everything, and if you have the option of additional credit at that weakest point, then there’s a good chance you will use it and, potentially, lose everything.
This is one of the biggest issues facing modern gamblers, one leading to catastrophic loss and, as a result, everything from suicide to complete financial failure.
Why Allow Credit Cards?
There are arguments for the use of credit cards in gambling, and these arguments suggest that problem gambling will exist regardless and that removing credit cards will hurt a large number of casual gamblers. It’s not simply a case of allowing those casual gamblers an additional way to deposit money—if that was the case then there would be no argument. It’s the fact that many gamblers see credit cards as the only way to gamble online.
There are a large number of gamblers out there that don’t want to use their debit cards, whether because of the safety implications or because the don’t like the idea that they can access and gamble their bank account at the click of a button. Credit cards (and online wallets) may be the only alternative for them.
So, on the one hand, allowing credit cards to continue to be used will hurt a small number of problem gamblers severely, but on the other hand, it will take the option of credit card gambling away from those who don’t abuse it and simply enjoy it for what it is.
So What Will Happen?
There is a very good chance that the UK will ban the use of credit cards. It doesn’t make much sense if the goal is to appease the majority, but you only have to look at their recent history to see why this won’t play a part. This is a country that recently suggested bringing in a system that would require everyone who wants to view pornography online to hand over their credit card.
Sense doesn’t always come into it, so the only thing that casual gamblers can do is cross their fingers and hope.
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