Gamblers will no longer be able to use their credit cards when placing bets online after a major shake-up announced by the Gambling Commission.
From April 14 this year, those who wish to gamble online will have to do so with either a debit card or using cash deposited into an account.
Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said the ban “should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have”.
The credit card ban affects all gambling, with the exception of the National Lottery, according to the industry watchdog.
Culture Minister Helen Whately told talkRADIO that a consultation into the issue showed that credit card gambling is “particularly risky.
“Nearly a quarter of people who gamble with credit cards then come into this category of being ‘problem gamblers’ where gambling is really damaging their lives.
“And so that is why we’re taking this really decisive action to simply ban gambling with credit cards,” she told Julia Hartley-Brewer.
The government has come under pressure to introduce bans for the use of credit cards for online bets over the past two years by charity groups including Gamble Aware and Citizens Advice.
An estimated 24 million adults gamble in Great Britain, with 10.5 million of those placing bets online.
The move is the latest blow to gambling businesses, after the government introduced a crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which saw the maximum stake for bets cut from £100 to £2.
talkRADIO: Listen live