Bank Australia is taking a stance against gambling. Its customers will no longer be able to use its credit cards for gaming and gambling transactions from December 1.
The bank emailed its customers informing them of the change. It updated the FAQ section of its website too. One section explains the decision to ban credit card gambling transactions.
“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.”
Bank Australia has a Responsible Banking Policy it strictly adheres to. It promises not to lend money to the gambling industry, including casinos and online gambling operators. The policy extends to businesses that derive revenue directly from pokies or sports betting.
More Banks To Ban Credit Card Gambling Transactions
Research performed by Bank Australia shows its customers are against using credit cards for gambling. The bank is customer-owned so customers’ opinions play a major role in the bank’s decision making.
Bank Australia isn’t the first and won’t be the last bank to ban it’s credit cards from gambling transactions.
National Australia Bank (NAB) made it possible for its customers to block gambling transactions in February. NAB customers can block sports betting, casino games, lottery tickets, and online gambling via an app or customer support. It is possible to lift the block, but there’s a 48-hour cooling off period.
Macquarie was the first Australian bank to block gambling transactions. It banned all its bank-issued credit cards from completing gambling transaction, including lottery purchases.
Gamblers in the United Kingdom are under a similar ban. The British Government banned credit cards for gambling transactions on April 14. The move came after the UK Gambling Commission revealed 800,000 Brits use credit cards for gambling. Some 22% of those are classified as problem gamblers.
Why Is There Negativity Surround Credit Card Gambling?
The majority of gamblers use credit cards for gambling transactions for the convenience they provide. They allow moving money to online casinos within seconds. The problem lies in the fees and the difficulty in tracking spending.
Each credit card is different but they all offer an interest-free period after purchase. Fifty-five days is a common period. This means those using credit cards for gambling transaction don’t have to pay their bill for almost two months. It doesn’t take a genius to see the potential pitfalls for someone gambling outside their means.
Furthermore, gambling transactions are usually considered as cash withdrawals. These attract higher rates of interest and a cash withdrawal fee. People using credit cards for gambling can fall into a spiral of exorbitant fees and interest.
What Are The Alternative Payment Options?
Don’t worry if you are one of the many affected customers because there are plenty of alternatives. Visa Debit is the most common and popular. This takes money directly from your bank account when you use it for gambling. You can only spend what you have available.
POLi is another popular alternative to credit cards for funding your accounts. The system is exclusive to Australian and New Zealanders and is usually free.
Consider cyrptocurrencies for your gambling transactions too. These are more complicated if you’re new to them, but are getting easier. Cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, is a virtual currency with real money value. An increasing number of Aussie online casinos accept Bitcoin and similar. Some even allow you to gamble with Bitcoin.