KEW, VICTORIA. It seems like gamblers should find another way to finance their gambling hobby after a local bank decided to ban transactions via credit cards. The local bank, the Bank Australia, made its recent announcement.
The bank informed its clients and customers that it would ban all credit card gaming and gambling transactions beginning December 1, 2020.
As remembered, before this decision, Bank Australia has started not lending cash where gambling was the reason. The bank would not give loans to some sectors that include gambling. The others are weapon-making, animal exports, tobacco, and fossil fuels.
According to Bank Australia, 87 per cent of gambling customers support the online casino operators and related to these operators to acquire income via betting or poker machines.
The bank noted that its decision did not aim to press its customers’ right to gamble. The bank explained that they had to come up with this decision. If they did not do it, gambling operators would receive more funding from banks, making them more accessible and prevalent.
Banks had to deprive the online gambling operators by making this decision, limiting the casino or online gambling operators’ growth and prevalence, and eliminating gambling issues.
Previously, the Aussie government has already banned the use of credit cards in casinos as well as through video pokers that people can find in clubs and pubs.
That was why it was not surprising that the casino operators would take the transactions online. From then, casino gamblers could fund their accounts and wager through online credit card transactions.
Although online credit card gambling wagering and funding was a regulated transaction, ABA stated that it still did not hinder the casino industry’s growth. According to it, the number of Aussies who wagered online doubled instead in the past seven years.
As a part of solving the country’s gambling issues, the Australian parliament allowed national self-exclusion registration. The aim of this project, which is a part of the National Consumer Protection Framework, is to provide gamblers with an easy way to ban themselves from all gambling and to bet sites throughout the state by making a single step.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) was the one the parliament delegated to pursue this task. The organization acquired a third-party tech service to make this registration possible, which the target date of launching was May 26, 2020.
Last December, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) also started its move, aside from the government’s initial step. It provided consultation for the public to find out the bank roles in addressing the rate for gambling issues.
The results of this consultation could help determine if banks can block the sports betting companies in Australia from the wagers funded by credit cards.
ABA provided a consultation paper where the topic was about the use of credit cards in gambling. ABA aimed to acquire views from the public about the banks’ role in addressing gambling issues.
In this consultation paper, ABA included five questions for the community to answer.
The bank wanted to find out the concerns and dangers of gambling by using a credit card.
It also wanted to know if they should restrict or ban gambling activities using a credit card.
ABA also included a question if it is rightful, the restriction should include all gambling types.
Aside from these questions, ABA also wanted to know if the transition period applies to new prohibitions. It also wanted to ask the possible downsides of the application of these restrictions.
The community had until March 4 to state its opinions and comments. The only requirement that the ABA asked for those who wanted to answer the consultation paper was to provide evidence-based on their experience and observation.
Although the ABA has not given the consultation results yet, it gained public reaction because of the current media roles.
Some of the ABA members had already started taking the initiative to limit credit cards for gambling transactions and buying lottery tickets and other purchases. The members of the association introduced its strategies to minimize the possible detrimental effects of gambling.
Despite the move, ABA’s primary goal was to prohibit its customers from using its products to finance their gambling issues.
The first bank to take its initial move concerning gambling was the National Australian Bank (NAB). It provided permission for its clients to block transactions related to gambling by using its iOS app.
In February, NAB added this functionality to Android.
Last September, the bank stated that it activated the anti-gambling feature on its apps for credit and 50,000 debit cards.
Macquarie, another financial institution and an ABA member, also provided bank restrictions to its gambling customers. Like, the move made by Bank Australia, it also announced prohibiting its customers from using credit cards for gambling transactions.
Aside from Bank Australia and Macquarie, other banks, Westpac, Bank of Melbourne, and Commonwealth Bank, also moved against gambling prevalence. However, instead of completely banning them from using credit cards for gambling transactions, they provided blocking options by customer-specific transaction instead.
Banks making moves to limit the growth and prevalence of casinos and gambling operators does not only happen in Australia, although Australia was the first to provide these restrictions.
The UK Gambling Commission joined the movement and conducted its consultation paper on credit card use in gambling transactions. In its election manifesto, Tories indicated that reviewing the 2005 Gambling Act is a part of its plans to provide a solution to credit card mishandling.
Also, in the UK, several financial industries started moving to provide gambling limitations through their products. Among the industries that participated are Lloyds, Monzo, Starling Bank, HSBC, and Barclays.
Last September, Barclays stated that it would make its restrictions stricter by asking for a time-out requirement that would last for 72 hours for gambling clients who wanted to request lifting the blocking they did to their accounts.