Ahead of the upcoming UK General Election, the Liberal Democrats have committed to banning the use of credit cards to place bets in a bid to crack down on problem gambling behaviour.
The proposal, reported originally on i News, seeks to prevent the use of credit cards within retail betting shops as well as across online gambling sites, with further plans to make it illegal for operators to accept credit cards as payments for individual bets or accounts.
Layla Moran, the Lib Dems’ spokesperson on culture, told i: “Problem gambling often has a pernicious and incredibly sad impact on the lives of thousands of people up and down our country.
“It is heart-breaking to see many vulnerable people fall further into debt as gambling becomes ever-more consuming.
“But, as ever with this mean-spirited Government, the Conservatives have neglected the problem. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming to support the Lib Dem-led initiative to reduce the maximum stake for FOBTs and have no interest in protecting the vulnerable any further.
“Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats will take bold and decisive action to tackle problem gambling.”
The party, which has clarified that debit cards could still be used to place bets, emphasised that the use of credit cards allows punters to gamble with money that they do not have.
The proposals come alongside a suggested compulsory levy on gambling firms which would go towards the treatment of problem gambling. The Liberal Democrats have called for an imposition of fresh gambling advertising restrictions, as well as the creation of an independent ombudsman to resolve disputes within the industry.
Earlier this year, the Liberal Democrats confirmed the appointment of Mike Dixon as new Chief Executive of the party.
Dixon’s role includes the control of Lib Dem operations and strategic planning, having formerly served as Chief Executive of ‘Addaction’ – a UK-wide support network for people recovering for drug/alcohol addiction and mental health issues.