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So far in the 2019 General Election campaign betting has not featured too prominently. However, the Liberal Democrat party have now made their position clear with regard to the use of credit cards for gambling stating that they will ban their use for online and in high street betting shops if elected in December.
Bookmakers will probably have anticipated this policy from the Lib Dems after the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm also recommended a ban on credit cards for online gambling in their Report earlier this month. Credit cards have been accepted by online bookmakers and casinos for years but there is a legitimate concern that it is too easy for problem gamblers to spend more than they can afford to bet via a credit card.
The UK Gambling Commission is nearing the end of a consultation period on the use of credit cards with the public and has hinted that it will look at the potential for a full ban but only if it is on the basis of advice from the industry and consumers.
There does not seem much likelihood at the moment of the Liberal Democrat party being elected however. Whilst they are the only clear Remain party in the election their popularity as judged by the opinion polls has dropped considerably from early September coinciding with the adoption of their policy to revoke Article 50 if elected. Amazingly in September bookmakers were quoting odds of only 14/1 for the Lib Dems to win most seats in the next election – an outcome which is now available at odds of 200/1 at Boylesports!
The next few weeks should feature some further policy statements from the Labour and Conservative parties on how they aim to tackle gambling issues if elected and give some direction as to the likely future course of Government regulation in this area.