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Online Gambling/ Credit Card Funded


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Hi all,


this is request going out to everyone and is a follow on from 'pay back' located in the lloyds tsb bank charges thread.


In my daft days i funded a pretty irresponsible gambling spree on the internet with a credit card. Being the good guys that they are when id maxed it they offered to put it onto a loan and then i carried on some more, you get the idea.


My question is this, does the online bookmaker have a duty of care to ensure responsible gambling? (i clearly was not) and does the credit card company have the same duty of care for responsible lending (mine clearly was not).


I am adamantly not trying to say that these 2 companies are responsible for my irresponsible gambling and subsequent debt as i hold full responsibility and have learnt a valuable lesson. In the above mentioned thread (pay back) it is commented that this 'duty of care' is rife in America and will surely head this way. Can this be a pioneering case? Surely the credit card company should have declined my further use of the card for purely online gambling?


Looking forward to some reposnses




(are there any similar cases on this forum?)

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This subject is one which is hot hot hot at the moment. With personal insolvency rising and bankruptcy up almost 60% in the past 5 years, more and more people are risking their money online in the hope in doubling their money. Many, in fact, do not and end up more in debt than they started.


Why do people get into online gambling? A whole host of reasons - bored, easy, fun, 'get rich quick' stories - but I personally think that gambling, alcoholism and other addictions are rooted psychologically. That's not to say that people who gamble or drink have mental issues, but addictions are usually taken to by someone who needs to have more control than they have. A loss of control can start by anything - boredom, depression, violence or be part of another addiction. But still people feel the stigma of being outcast in society, and feel weak and powerless when trying to face up to an addiction rather than seek help for it. Friends of the addicts usually see it through different perspectives and just think that person should just stop - full stop. But it's not that easy, and it also causes chemical reactions in the body of an addict such as the release of dopermine and endorphins, which give an almost euphoric and analgesic-like response.


It is currently illegal to run a an online casino or gambling site if it's equipment and payment processing operations are located in the UK under the Gambling Act 1968, which states that gamers must be present in person when the gaming is taking place.


The Gambling Act 2005 comes into force next year, which will allow the running and operation of UK-based internet gambling sites, for which owners must be licensed and take certain precautions to prevent a boom in debt and other problems associated with gambling addicitions. The projected date being September 2007. There will be a watchdog set up to monitor this, but there are fears that the UK public will be plunged into a scenario which there is no help (or forecasted protection) for.


Suggestions which involve the taking away the temptation (such as credit cards being refused authorisation on gambling sites) are just removing the symptoms, and not the cause. Limiting the amount an account can be credited to will not work either - for example, a limit of £20 until they go to another computer and load another £20 using theirs or another card - and so on and so forth. There must be something behind it, whatever it is, which forces a person to gain an addicition; it's a learnt behaviour, not one which we are born with. Unfortunately, there is just not enough help or exposure about what to do or where to go if someone starts feeling the 'pull' into something which may ultimately cost them a lot more than losing face.



  • Haha 1

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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Reading into your post are you saying that there are currently no legislations for 'duty of care' but there are moral issues?


Gambling is an adiction yes but this is not definative just because you are invloved in a vice does not mean you are 'looking for something else' in life or have a mental disorder, some people just have no concept of money and when you gamble with a card and win money, then deposited back onto a card you do not see hard cash you would of traditionally with a high street bookmaker.


Hope this post stays around for a while because online gambling is going to be big time soon. Ive noticed recently adverts targetting the 'bored housewifes' - bingo and if it takes off like poker did i can see a lot of upset.

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"If" ?


Bingo sites are springing up at the sort of rate that poker sites did a few years ago, and I believe are currently the fastest growing.


Online gambling has just been banned in America. I'm not sure if it's a total ban but I doubt it will have changed much and I believe that the serious American gamblers are probably now signing up to the UK sites and opening UK bank accounts to get around the problem. It almost certainly explains why major US online casinos are so heavily promoting theie wares in the UK.


Personally I think that a lot of the problem is not necessarily addiction but more to do with people chasing a dream. This is probably in part due to the fact that people are trying to emulate the professional gamblers when they hear of the big winners and there is a huge chunk of cash being spent by people not just gambling but buying betting and gambling systems trying to find that magic formula.


As for credit cards, a lot now refuse to let you use them on gambling sites although not surprisingly the increasing trend with some card issuers is to allow their use but add a surcharge, e.g. I just found out Capital One charge a £3 "cash withdrawal fee" for my £10 weekly lottery syndicate subs. As far as I'm concerned it's not a cash withdrawal (I never saw any cash!!!) and I will be claiming it back.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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I did not indicate that everyone who suffers from an addiction has a mental disorder or has mental issues - I merely pointed out that addiction is usually precendented by a root cause or issue, of which the addiction and the compulsion is borne out of.


If you read any celebrity autobiography or interview of someone who got caught up in drugs, drink or any other problem they will trace it back to a certain time of their life in which they came to rely on something and needed it to remain constant in order for the sense of control to remain.


From personal experience, I know people who have become addicted to drugs because they work so hard, they use it to stay awake and work longer hours. However, the reason why they are working long hours can be explained by looking at their emotional state at the time of making the decision.


Addiction is an illness, as is depression, schizophrenia and every other disorder which can be defined as one which manifests itself without providing many (or any) physical symptoms, although an illness of this type can lead to physical ailments.


I completely agree with you when you say that because you are involved with a vice it does not mean you have a mental disorder. I do stand by my comment that addictions are usually created by the searching for something else in life - it might not neccessarily be big, but the addiction itself can be used to hide a rooted problem which that person may not be able to face up to, or cannot face up to.


The psychology of addiction is extremely complex, but not everyone becomes addicted, although most of us can confess to having a vice of some shape or form. The fact that gambling is easily accessible and easy to use does not help those who have a weakness for it. And speaking about the 'cash-less' transaction is spot on, and it is the psychological metaphor for why people end up in personal debt - you cannot physically see the money coming out of your account and you cannot see it being given away, and the perception of reality is not present.


I do feel for people though - it's not something widely spoken about and is still regarded as a sin in some religions, but in fact it's a reality that everyone needs to be aware of.

  • Haha 1

Lived through bankruptcy to tell the tale! Worked in various industries and studied law at university. All advice is given in good faith only :)

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