CoE bishop welcomes credit card gambling ban

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Alan Smith

The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, has welcomed an announcement from the Gambling Commission that consumers will no longer be able to use credit cards to gamble from April 2020.

“This marks a significant step in progressive policy-making, reducing the risks to gamblers,” he said, following the announcement.
 
“For too long people have been vulnerable through gambling with money they don’t have, using credit cards, additionally incurring the costs of borrowing alongside any losses.
 
“I have been calling for this change as consultation turned into consultation, while gamblers were facing the consequences of delay.
 
“Putting down a Private Member’s Bill in the last Parliament seemed like the last option and I was delighted when both the Government and Labour pledged to deliver a ban on credit card gambling.
 
“However, this is no more than a tweak to gambling legislation and regulation. Fundamental reform is needed if we are to ever make significant progress for the hundreds of thousands affected by gambling-related harm.“

The Bishop of St Albans previously helped lead the campaign to reduce the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, and pushed for a ban on gambling with credit cards in a Private Member’s Bill, which was subsequently incorporated into the Government’s manifesto pledges.