The british people loves to gamble. There is No event, nondescript, who can not just become a game of chance with money of by means. To the point that the media take so seriously the predictions of the bookies as the polls pre-election. In the Uk there are about 430,000 people with a serious problem of pathological gambling, according to the association GambleAware to combat this disease. This week has achieved a great victory. On the 14th of April, the Government will prohibit the use of credit cards for gambling, also online, as announced by the National Gambling Commission (CNJ). From then on only be able to play with debit cards and cash deposits (except the national lottery).
“With this ban we try to reduce to a minimum the potential damage that may occur to consumers when they bet with money that in reality does not have,” said Neil McArthur, the director of the CNJ.
As a bait to retain its customers, the major gambling websites in the Internet (PokerStars, Betfair, 888 or Bet365) allow you to fill the bags of the users with a credit line of their cards. UKFinance, the independent auditor who oversees the financial sector of the british, estimated at some 800,000 people who usually use credit cards for betting. 22% of those people, that is to say, some 176,000, are people with pathological gambling, according to the CNJ.
“If you want to operate in the market a safe mode, the game industry has the responsibility to prevent the desire to occasionally make a bet to become a dangerous habit. That's why I ask them to establish as soon as possible a detailed plan of action to reduce the risk of severe gambling disorders,” wrote the responsible Mental Health of the National Health Service (NHS, its acronym in English), Claire Murdoch, to the CNJ in the months prior to adopting their decision about credit cards.
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following the announcement of the british Government, in Spain, the associations of consumers and against problem gambling have been quick to demand that the new Ministry of Consumption, led Alberto Garzón, who apply the same measure. Meanwhile, sources from the ministry say they have not studied the subject and that it is still early to “mark positions”. In Spain the number of people with pathological gambling amounts to about 400,000, according to the Spanish Federation of random players rehabilitated.
The Federation of consumers and users (Facua) believes that the initiative would be “key” to combat problem gambling. In a press release statement also calls for the prohibition of atms in the interior of the game rooms, because, like credit cards, encourage the compulsion to continue risking, creating an even greater problem of debt and multiply the risk of addiction. Follow the steps of the british Government would be “a first step” toward the prevention of problem gambling, to value their spokesman Ruben Sanchez: “is Not the same as a player is to spend the money that you have and see, to spend the top of your card”.
“The british Government has shown that it is not so difficult to put measures so that the players don't get indebted”, he adds from the Association of finance users (Asufin), its president, Patricia Suárez. “We can not forget the paw of the economic problem,” he adds. “It's one thing to play for fun and another to go into debt to continue playing. This profile is not interested in the financial sector”. From the association point in addition to being able to pay to credit these services goes against the idea of “responsible lending” enshrined in the Law of Sustainable Economy nearly a decade ago. “We are surprised that when you ask for a loan, they evaluate the creditworthiness of the potential borrower and, in the case of the game, you can make use of a credit without anyone to check to see if you can deal with it”.
on The sidelines of a financial point of view, pathological gambling is a disease. For this reason, Susana Jimenez, head of the unit of pathological gambling of the Hospital de Bellvitge, applauds this initiative. “Any strategy of protection to the person who is playing, is good.” In the unit that he leads, help more than 300 new patients per year. The psychologist alert of the phenomenon of microcredit fast, each time more common among those addicted to the game. “We have cases of people arriving with more than ten debts that have not been able to return; there are very high figures, but they have very high interest rates”.
“I spent what was not, what was not mine and what I looted out there”
Paco, of 51 years, remembers well the day he made his first bet online, more than 12 years ago. It was low's job and saw an advertisement for Botemanía of a virtual slot. “I started playing because of boredom. I saw that it was very easy to enter; that I only asked for the card and confirm that the age of majority and I liked it. And since then I was hooked, to the point of arruinarme family and economically,” says this father of a family who prefers not to give her last name.
he Was playing for three years in a jerky manner and estimated that he lost around 30,000 euros. “And I am one of those who has spent little,” he admits. “I spent what was not, what was not mine, and what he looted in there.” Asked for money to his friends, his wife and several loans to Citibank and Cofidis. “At the time that the cards were not for more, the calls received were for non-payment, and my wife threw me out of the house, asked for money to play slots of the bars,” he says. Paco believes that prohibit the use of cards “is not enough”: “this Is a disease and the same thing happens with alcoholics: what you need to and do whatever to get money for your drug.”
Today, Paco is a member of Gamblers Anonymous, an association that accompanies and helps people with problems of addiction to the game, and has recovered to his family. “In these eight years without playing, I got back to my wife, I had a child and I re-arranged all of my debts. I don't want to go back to that bottomless well. I have a life I like as it is”.Updated Date: 18 January 2020, 00:00