The Liberal Democrats committed to restricting the use of credit cards to place bets in an attempt to crack down on problem gambling behaviour, ahead of the upcoming UK General Election.
The bill, originally reported on i News, aims to prevent the use of credit cards in retail betting shops and online gambling sites, with potential plans to make it illegal for operators to offer credit cards as transactions for individual bets or accounts.
Layla Moran, spokesperson for culture for Lib Dems, 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 group, which made it clear that debit cards could still be used to place bets, emphasised that using credit cards encourages punters to play with cash they don’t have.
The plans come with a proposed mandatory levy on gambling companies that would go to problem gambling rehabilitation. The Liberal Democrats called for the enforcement of limits on fresh gambling ads, as well as the creation of an independent ombudsman to resolve disputes within the industry.
The Liberal Democrats announced Mike Dixon’s appointment as the party’s new chief executive earlier this year.
Dixon’s position involves overseeing Lib Dem activities and strategic planning, having previously worked as’ Addaction ‘ chief executive–a UK-wide support network for people recovering from drug / alcohol addiction and mental health problems.