ABA Study Shows Aussie Support Credit Card Gambling Ban

Survey shows Australian support a ban on credit card gambling

The Australian Banking Authority (ABA) unveiled the results of its Every Customer Counts survey. The results show Australians support a ban on credit card gambling.

ABA produced an in-depth report called Every Customer Counts. It accepted written submissions from 40 gambling operators, government agencies, and problem gambling counsellors. A web-based survey of 813 people was also used to compile the report.

The ABA asked the participant for their opinions on credit card gambling. Most expressed the opinion that banks should ban credit card gambling completely. Part of the report revealed the reason for these thoughts.

“The associated risks were considered to significantly outweigh any potential benefits for customers, especially for vulnerable populations such as individuals experiencing gambling problems. Using a credit card for gambling can create unique harm whereby significant debt can be accumulated quickly without any value being attached to it.”

Should Australia Ban Credit Card Gambling?

A YouGov survey by the ABA in November 2019 showed 81% of Australians want credit card gambling banned or restricted. The survey looked at four groups of gambler and non-gamblers. Those who have never gambled, occasional gamblers, regular gamblers, and combined.

Complete ban Daily caps No restrictions Don’t know
Never gambled 61% 18% 5% 16%
Occasional gambler 53% 30% 6% 11%
Regular gambler 41% 34% 14% 11%
Combined 54% 27% 7% 12%

It is surprising to see that even 41% of regular gamblers want a ban on credit card gambling. This figure increases to 75% when you include imposed daily spending caps. That in itself speaks volumes.

Credit card gambling isn’t as prevalent as one thinks, however. The ABA revealed 82% of those surveyed never used this credit source. Fourteen per cent admitted to sometimes using credit cards for gambling, with only 4% using this method “usually”.

Bookies Warn Banning Credit Cards Will Harm the Industry

Australia has discussed banning credit cards for gambling for several years. It isn’t a new discussion. Ladbrokes-Australia’s CEO, Dean Shannon, warned a blanket ban would damage the horse racing industry.

“Racing is driven by turnover and if you take away the credit cards I would say at a guess it would affect 30 per cent plus of turnover. I think a ban on credit cards would be quite short-sighted and the flow-on effects that would spin the racing industry into decline.”

Tabcorp warned of a 30% fall in betting turnover if a ban comes in.

Some Institutions Have Already Ban Credit Cards

A credit card gambling ban came into force in the United Kingdom on April 14. The move came after a review showed 24 million British adults gamble regularly. Some 10.5 million of those bet online. It is estimated 800,000 Britons use credit cards to fund their gambling with 22% of those classified as problem gamblers.

It has been 18 months since Macquarie stopped customers using its credit cards for gambling and lottery purchases. Transactions are stopped in their tracks when a gambling merchant code is used.

Bank Australia banned credit cards from gambling on December 1 this year. The bank emailed its customers informing them of the change.

“Around the world, changes have been made to limit the use of credit cards for gambling. We believe these measures make sense and help address some of the harms associated with gambling transactions on credit cards and help prevent problematic credit card debt.”

“The Australian Banking Association has renewed a discussion with its members, including us, about taking steps to prevent harm to customers. This means many other banks are also taking steps to limit gambling on credit cards.”

“You can still gamble with your own money, such as via your Visa Debit card.”

It won’t be long, surely, until a blanket ban follows.