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Brain injured gamblers ‘need more protection’

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From 14 April, gambling using a credit card will be banned, following reviews of the industry by the government and the Gambling Commission.

According research, 22 per cent of problem gamblers use credit cards.

Brain injury charity Headway welcomed news of the ban, but called for more to be done to protect brain injury survivors.

Last year Headway gave evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Gambling Related Harm to explore the links between brain injury and gambling addiction.

Behavioural effects of brain injury, such as dis-inhibition, impulsiveness and obsessive behaviour, and cognitive effects, including memory loss and impaired reasoning, can make brain injury survivors more vulnerable to the addictive nature of gambling.

Luke Griggs, deputy chief executive at Headway, said: “We’ve heard harrowing accounts of brain injury survivors losing huge amounts of money as a result of insufficient protections being put in place by online casinos. For example, one brain injury survivor lost £67,000 in just 40 minutes despite registering himself as being a vulnerable adult.

“The credit card ban is a helpful first step in protecting vulnerable people from gambling related harm. However, the government needs to do far more to force the gambling industry to better protect vulnerable people who have significant amounts of cash at their disposable. This includes brain injury survivors who may have at their disposal large compensation payments that were supposed to support them for the rest of their lives.

“This multi-billion industry can, and must, do so much more to protect vulnerable people like brain injury survivors from the often devastating consequences that problem gambling can inflict on people and their families.”

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