A former gambling addict who funded his habit with a seven credit cards and another five loans, has spoken in favour of new UK gambling industry rules.
The story of Stephen Bass was reported in the UK media at the end of the week. Bass admitted to using payday loans to fund his gambling addiction but was eventually forced to declare himself bankrupt with debts of around £36,000 to his name.
In comments aimed at the gambling industry, Bass accused them of using disgusting methods to attract people to their online gambling sites, and of encouraging people to keep gambling by delaying making payments; methods that he said led to suicides.
The reporting on Bass’s story comes in the same week that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced a new credit card ban. The ban comes at the end of a year-long consultation period in which the UKGC also contemplated a partial restriction on the use of credit cards to pay for gambling activity. But there has been considerable public and political pressure behind the idea of a complete ban, and that ban will now be imposed from April 14.
According to reports, Bass said that he welcomed the ban, but said that the UKGC should go further and bring in tighter regulation for other areas of the sector, including advertising. He also condemned free to play casino games used by some gambling operators to attract customers.
Bass, who now does voluntary work at a rehabilitation centre, said that gambling industry advertising was ubiquitous and should be tackled:
‘They need to cut off adverts really. I try to hide them on Facebook, and more will just pop up. It’s everywhere. I can’t believe how it’s legal. There should be a watershed on gambling adverts. It’s all temptation.”