Channel News Asia reports recently on calls from counsellors to restrict credit card use when it comes to online gambling.
For the huge majority of people, gambling is a fun pastime that they’ve got fully under control. They can budget how much they can afford to lose, and know when to stop when they reach that limit. And if they win, so much the better. However, for others, the lure of the casino or online gambling site is unstoppable, and before long they find themselves losing far more than they can afford, and without help they can find themselves hopelessly in debt.
Online betting is becoming an increasing problem, as for most people (especially those with a compulsive gambling habit), it’s a solitary experience rather than a social one, meaning there’s nobody else there to tell them that it might be time to stop and cut their losses.
As an organisation that promotes the safe, responsible use of credit cards, we are of the opinion that any safeguard that prevents unnecessary debt is a good thing, and therefore limits on credit card spending in online casinos should be enforced. According to Channel News Asia, counsellors who help people with problem gambling say they’re seeing more and more Singaporeans who are getting themselves addicted to online betting, and are calling on the government to do something about it.
At the moment, there are no laws governing casino and sports betting websites, and counselling groups say that it’s high time that there were. Singapore’s excellent internet connections mean that games are faster, more realistic and mean – of course – that relieving gamblers of their money is all the more simple. The ease at which credit cards are accepted on these sites is a huge concern to those fighting the problem.
Speaking to Channel News Asia, Credit Counselling Singapore general manager Tan Huey Min said that credit card companies could help by restricting transactions on gambling sites. However, she conceded that it would be difficult to stop people spending their own money. As far as we’re concerned, credit card use on betting and gambling is much the same as any other spending on your card. Always make sure you know exactly how much you are crediting to your account, and make sure that you spend absolutely no more than you can pay off straight away. For most of us, we can spend within our means – for a very small minority, it’s clear that gambling and credit card cannot mix.
Article by Jason Taylor – [email protected]