Australian banks could ban or restrict gambling with credit cards

Harry Mason

There have been a lot of new regulations and amendments made in the gambling industry in Australia this year. Everything mostly comes out due to the promotion of responsible gambling in the country. 

It has become known recently that Australia is planning on another regulation to be implemented within the industry. The new regulation concerns the payment methods at the casinos. Australians soon might not be able to proceed with payments with the credit cards in casinos, or the process might be very limited and restricted. 

Australian Banks Plan

Currently, Australian banks are looking for public support for the new initiative, as they want to ban or restrict credit card gambling. 

There was released the eight-page consultation paper by the Australian Banking Association last week. The paper is focused on the use of credit cards for gambling purposes. The paper also invites people to submit their views and responses regarding the topic by March 4th of 2020. 

Together with the release of the paper people are also asked to fix their opinion regarding the possible risk factors of gambling on the credit cards, if of course, they consider there are any. 

Australian Banking Association has made comments on the initiative. Anna Bligh, who is the CEO of the association said that banks play an important role in “helping tackle the issue of problem gambling” and consequently they see their own clear role in promoting responsible gambling as well. What else can be said is that they definitely care about public opinion, as they want to have the community feedback on how the nation’s financial institution can contribute to combating the current issue. 

Anne Blight has also mentioned that gambling might be a form of entertainment and recreation for many Australian citizens, but “for some, it can become a problem that potentially has devastating consequences for the individual and their family”. 

This seems to be only the beginning as the banks and the governmental structures are working on the other means of solutions as well. The public is very important for this, and their review will assist individual banks to consider further reform on the current issue. 

Community Views 

The initiative rose many questions and concerns. The UK and New Zealand are also questioning the initiative and the chances of effectiveness. Whether they should also ban or restrict credit card gambling on their territories. 

Australian Bank Association is not the first institute that came to the decision of banning credit card gambling. One of the Australian banks Macquarie has already prohibited costumers to use credit cards to gamble or even purchase lottery products with the credit card. The credit card policy amendments were made in July 2019. 

According to the amendments of Macquarie bank any transactions that are classified as gambling under the merchant code are blocked whenever a cardholder tries to make a purchase. With this specific example, the Australian Banking Association wants to make similar moves, this means that more banks will introduce their restrictions in the future. 

Key Points 

There are several main points that the Association wants to focus one. The key points are:

  • Risk factors associated with credit card gambling 
  • Should credit card gambling be prohibited or limited
  • Should the restrictions apply to all type of gambling activities
  • What can be the harshest consequences of the prohibition 
  • Should there be a transition period or should it be implemented straight away 

At this moment, Australians are not allowed to use credit cards for the gambling purpose, which spreads only at the land-based casinos, slot machines and at horse and greyhound racing or betting. This is the whole existing limitation. 

Limitation or prohibition of credit card gambling follows the regulation that was implemented by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) recently. Via the new regulation, the government also promotes responsible gambling. Within the framework of the regulation, the local Internet providers will be blocking unauthorized gambling websites. There is also a law according to which, Aussie gamers will be able to self-ban themselves from the online casino websites for a specific time or permanently. The Australian Banking Association’s plan is the next chapter in the book with the title of responsible gambling.