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Bishop welcomes credit-card gambling ban

17 January 2020

Dr Smith: ‘fundamental reform’ of gambling laws and regulation is needed


THERE needs to be “fundamental reform” of gambling laws and regulation, the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, has said. He was speaking after it was announced that, from 14 April, consumers in Britain would be stopped from using credit cards to bet.

The Gambling Commission announced on Tuesday that bookmakers would be stopped from allowing customers to use credit cards to place bets, from Easter Tuesday.

Dr Smith described the work on Tuesday as “a significant step in progressive policy-making”.

He said, 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.”

Dr Smith said that the present legislation was not working and that children and teenagers were still seeing a large number of gambling adverts, despite a ban.

He criticised the Football Association for granting access to FA Cup matches through gambling sites, if a customer deposited money. Dr Smith called it a “direct breaking of the whistle-to-whistle ban”. A public outcry had led to the practice being stopped.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Gambling Commission said that investigations into the matter were ongoing.

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