Bank Australia Slams Credit Cards for Gambling and Gaming

Credit cards are now suspended for Bank Australia consumers who want to use them for gambling or gaming purposes.

Bank Australia Suspends Credit Card Payments to Gambling Operators

Bank Australia has become the latest financial institution to slam the use of credit cards for transactions involving gambling and gaming operations. The decision is part of the bank’s broader commitment to customer responsibility that involves managing personal debt.

Last week, the institution emailed customers that starting on December 1, 2020 it would no longer allow the use of credit cards to facilitate gambling and gaming activities, blocking all related transactions instead.

The move will affect consumers who have been in the habit to spend credit card funds on various gambling verticals, including pokies, online casinos, government lotteries, horse and dog racing, and other contests.

Bank Australia will rely on information collated by merchants who can determine whether a transaction qualifies for the restrictions. On the upside, Bank Australia customers may still continue to use their debit cards to gamble.

A similar move was undertaken by British banks a few years ago, in a bid to limit gambling-related harm. Barclays even boosted its gambling block feature to ensure customers safety earlier in September.

Blocking Credit Cards for Gambling Is a Global Decision

Earlier this year, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission or UKGC completely suspended the use of credit cards for gambling purposes. The decision follows a broader survey among the bank’s customers who said they prefer credit funds to be available in a responsible way.

Some 87% of the bank’s customer base supported the move and specifically prohibit lending to consumers who spend the money on gambling or sports betting businesses. More Australian banks have already joined the move with Suncorp, Bank of Queensland, Macquarie Bank and CUA all rolling out a similar policy.

Elsewhere, American Express and Citibank have followed through with a similar move. The U.S. National Council on Problem Gambling has issued an appeal for gambling businesses to discontinue credit cards as a form of payment.

This doesn’t only apply to the credit cards directly. Credit funds must not be used to fund e-wallets or other payment methods, for example, which are then used to make a bet.

In Australia, the NSW Green and One Nation have forged a political alliance to introduce government-issued gambling cards and introduce cashless poker machines.

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