Gamblers will no longer be able to use their credit cards to place bets after a major alteration of the rules announced by the industry regulator.
As of April 14, people wishing to place bets online must do so using a debit card or cash deposited into an account.
The credit card ban affects all online and offline gambling, with the exception of the National Lottery, the Gaming Commission said.
Follow the concerted efforts of the Government to address the issue of problematic gambling.
The executive president of the Gaming Commission, Neil McArthur, said the ban should “minimize the risks of harm to consumers by playing with money they don’t have.”
“The ban we announced today should minimize the risks of harm to consumers by playing with money they don’t have.”
He said: “Research shows that 22 percent of online players who use credit cards are problematic players, and that they still suffer some kind of game damage.
“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through the game due to the availability of credit cards.
“There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to pursue losses to a greater extent.”
McArthur said that although some consumers may use credit cards simply for convenience, the risk of harming others was too high.
The Minister of Culture, Helen Whately, said: “There is clear evidence of the harm of consumers who bet with money they do not have, so it is absolutely right that we act decisively to protect them.”
“In the last year, we introduced a wave of tougher measures, which included reducing the maximum bet on betting terminals with fixed odds, introducing stricter age and identity controls for online gambling and expanding specialized national support to through the NHS Long Term Plan.
“We have also secured a series of commitments from five leading game operators that will include £ 100 million financing for the treatment of troubled players.
“But there is more to do. We will conduct a review of the Gambling Law to ensure that it is suitable for the digital age and launch a new strategy of addiction nationwide in 2020.
“We will not hesitate to take any other measures necessary to protect people from the damage caused by the game.”
SNP MP Ronnie Cowan, who talked about the gaming industry, was cautiously optimistic about the announcement.
He said: “This is welcome, but we should not look away from the prize and that is a completely new Game Law.”