NEW rules banned gamblers from using credit cards to place bets online has been welcomed.

From April 14, people wanting to place bets online will have to do so by using either a debit card or through cash deposited into an account.

The credit card ban will affect all gambling, with the exception of the National Lottery, the Gambling Commission said.

A spokesman for Swindon Gamblers’ Anonymous welcomed the change: “It’s a good step.”

He said one member of the group claimed he would never have run up such a large gambling debt were it not for easy access to credit card cash.

The rule changes follow concerted efforts by the Government to address the issue of problem gambling.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said: "Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm.

"The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have."

Swindon Gamblers’ Anonymous will host an open meeting in early February. All welcome. For more, call: 07828081189.