Researchers at the University of Bristol are deepening their research into how the financial sector including credit card companies can help reduce gambling-related harm.

It comes as banks are already seeking to take steps to support customers who are looking to limit or stop their gambling, the research aims to enhance the current social responsibility focus of the financial sector, with first hand experiences of people affected by gambling.

In doing so, the researchers would like to invite you to take part in a survey, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Extensive action from the financial sector follows the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group (GRH APPG) releasing its interim report demanding the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to step up its efforts in curbing gambling-realted harms. 

Chaired by Carolyn Harris MP, the cross-party organisation refers to the lack of action from the government and UKGC which it believes has enabled industry players to “prey on vulnerable gamblers.”

It presented a range of recommendations including limits on stakes and prizes plus the “urgent” need to ban credit card usage, describing it as “inconceivable” that gamblers are able to utilise debt to fund their addictions. 

Carolyn Harris commented: “This report highlights the urgent need for a root and branch review of the regulation of online gambling. Stakes and prize limits online would be a major step forward in reducing the harm caused by the sector. 

“It is not at all clear why the Gambling Commission is not looking at this as a matter of urgency. It is an abdication of its responsibility as a regulator. There must be consistent and appropriate regulation of all forms of gambling. 

“I also urge the Government to urgently review the provision of research, education and treatment in the sector. Gamble Aware are not effectively carrying out this function and it should immediately be brought into a public health setting.”

“I therefore urge the Commission to look into this issue in greater depth. It is outrageous that there are not stake limits online, that gamblers are still able to gamble using credit cards online and that operators are able to continue to offer inducements to the vulnerable without proper sanction.”