Gambling is quite popular in Britain with all 24 million adults playing all around Britain, 10.5 million of them doing so online. Gambling is an important part of the British entertainment industry but recently the talk about preventative measures aimed at reducing the number of problem gamblers has become more popular and together with the government the Gambling Commission has now issued a statement saying that from 14th of April gambling by using credit cards will be prohibited.
Why are credit cards a threat?
Credit cards, in general, have long been hailed as a gateway to irresponsible spending and when you pair it with an activity where there’s a chance of losing money it creates a toxic cycle. According to the BBC, around 22% of gamblers using credit cards are problem gamblers, which is an alarming pattern that needs action.
UK’s gambling commission has been very active all throughout 2019 and adapted a more proactive approach to reducing problem gamblers and taking preventative measures. The chief executive of the Gambling Commission, Neil Mcarthur stated that credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm and that the new ban should minimize the risk of harm to consumers from gambling the money they don’t have. It is easy to fall in the rabbit hole of credit cards that seem harmless but can actually promote damaging financial habits and make it easier for people to ignore their responsibility of the financial lines that she shouldn’t cross.
Promoting responsible gambling worldwide
This initiative has long been coming and hopefully, other countries will also adopt this approach if the U.K finds that the ban has actually reduced the number of problem gamblers in the country. We have seen this trend across many countries where gambling commissions and venues themselves are promoting responsible gambling. Not only is this a positive change that will help those risky gamblers to regain control of their habits but this is also helping out the reputation of the gambling industry as a whole. A lot of people immediately associate gambling with addiction which is a huge overstatement. There is a lot more to the gambling industry and a lot more plays into developing an addiction for it. But if these companies manage to get the issue under control it could completely transform the industry and its reputation.
Across the world, people are implementing ideas and tools to help minimize the problem gamblers. Australia was one of the first countries to use AI to determine the problem gambling patterns and use the cool-off method, meaning that for example, the slot machine will lock out a player who is displaying risky patterns for 20-30 seconds in to cool off and possibly avoid making big mistakes. Australia, where gambling is even more popular than in Britain, is also working hard to prevent problem gamblers, while still allowing the industry to thrive. According to PlayAmo representative from Australia, their Aussie online blackjack games, slot machines, and other online casino games are very still popular and can all benefit from the implementation of the AI.
Setting a new industry standard
In the U.K, the AI adoption hasn’t really been discussed while the country focuses on more traditional methods to prevent escalating situations. As said by Mr. Mcarthur there is 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 view is shared by the UK’s Culture Minister Helen Whately, saying that while here are millions who gamble responsibly, but then there are those whose lives have been ruined by gambling addiction and there is clear evidence of harm from players betting with money they don’t have.
This move is aimed to protect those who have trouble stopping at a reasonable time and the U.K’s gambling commission hopes to establish a new industry standard with this move to help their citizens and gambling industry, in general, to have fewer problem gamblers in general.
The recent attack on credit cards is evidence that they have ruined the financial lives of many with their tricky concept. It would be unfair to discard credit cards because there are people who have enough self-control to know when to stop and when you actually need to max them out. But since so many people, especially the younger ones have a hard time making financial reasonable decisions, it makes sense to ban them from gambling venues. This approach should be shared by any country that wants to minimize the number of gambling addicts and to promote responsible gambling in its own right, which gets so much bad rep but can actually be very beneficial for the country’s economy. This trend of proactive approach towards improving the gambling industry for the better will hopefully reach the rest of the world soon enough.
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