Online payments and loans are such an abstract representation of money. You can’t feel money in your hands, but instead, you just see some numbers that most certainly you cannot understand the value of as good as you would with cash.
Betting online and paying with loaned money didn’t feel real for me. It felt as if it was just an online game without a life changing consequences. It’s funny how even when I would spend a few thousands on a single bet, I would still make sure I was buying the most reasonable priced products in the grocery stores and I wouldn’t be lazy to go an extra mile because of the discounts. It was because I could see, touch, smell and feel what I was spending money on. All my senses were involved in the “physical” purchase.
Even though credit cards look like any other plastic card in our wallets, it really can change our lives dramatically. You can fall in its trap so easily and it can become one of the biggest supporters of our addictions.
I started using a credit card when I misunderstood how one furniture store financing worked. The store offered a loan with a promotional introductory rate of 0% APR for the first 12 months. I understood I will get a bill every month, but instead I received a credit card with minus €800 a few days later. Getting the credit card upset me, because at the time I was cautious with my money and I knew those cards have high interest rates. After I paid off the furniture I bought, I left the credit card on a shelf and forgot about it, cause I knew how dangerous it could be.
When I started to gamble, I was using a debit card. If I would run out of money, my only option was to wait for my next pay day. However, a few months into the addiction, I started to have intense cravings for gambling. Waiting for my next pay day became unnecessarily long and I just couldn’t wait. That is when I rediscovered my long forgotten Credit Card. It was still sitting on the shelf, waiting for some action…
Gambling addiction is more rampant problem than you might think. It isn’t extraordinary to see millions of people around the globe to start gambling as a one-time experience but soon fall prey to its never-ending loop of winning and losing by chance. While there are many who seek professional help, there are others who go through financial distress, destructive habits and psychological health issues.
Major countries like the United States and United Kingdom are taking measures to curb the problem of gambling addiction. One of them is banning the use of credit cards to gamble. A huge chunk of gamblers use their credit cards to bet. But, in reality, that’s the last thing gamblers should think about doing. It may sound quite a convenient option to place bets, but it doesn’t take long for gamblers to be exposed to financial harm.
Credit card gambling makes people gamble with money that they don’t have. It goes beyond what their pocket allows. Most of these gamblers have whopping amounts of debt on their head because credit cards were easily available and placing bets through them took very little effort. There are also many payday loan websites that offer cheap loans to gamblers. However, they land up losing money more than gaining anything, thereby just accumulating unpayable debts.
As such, the ban on placing bets through credit cards is likely to curb problem gambling and protect people from any sort of harm. All offline and online gambling products, except lottery tickets, will be covered under the new measure. Mortgage lenders are also warned by the Gambling Commission in the UK that problem gamblers could remortgage their homes while hiding their addiction pattern. Many charities, financial services and campaigners seem to welcome the ban because this is a measure that will surely minimize the financial risks associated with problem gambling, but also judiciously maintain the integrity of the industry.
Speaking of credit cards, credit card companies don’t care about our financial wellbeing, just like casinos. I learned that a hard way. I started taking out little sums for my online gambling, and before I knew my card was maxed out. Looking back, using the credit card for online betting, as well as hiding the addiction from my family, were two biggest mistakes I made. I maxed out my credit cards probably 6 times, which I paid by taking loans. It’s a vicious circle that you can hardly get out of.
Gaming operators have to act in a socially responsible way. Banning the usage of credit cards IS a solution every gambling operator has to apply and the law every country must adopt.