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Australia: ABA report puts credit card under the spotlight

The ABA is concerned about customers using credit cards to finance their gambling addiction, with punters accumulating debt in a small time period

In an open consultation letter, the ABA conducted a study that showed concern regarding problem gambling within the country, specifically due to credit cards. Gambling is very popular in Australia, more than half of the adult demographic had placed a bet within the first three months of 2018. Fortunately, the majority of those who bet do not end up with a gambling problem but those who do, still need all the protection they can get. 

This has caused a reaction from a number of banks where they have

 introduced a range of initiatives to help customers better manage their financial arrangements and mitigate harms related to problem gambling – technology solutions such as customer directed blocks, tools to help customers track their spending, trained customer support teams and referrals to support services. Some financial institutions have blocked gambling on the credit cards they provide. 

Therefore, the use of credit cards for betting purposes could become strictly prohibited in the future, if the banking industry takes notice of the report. 

Australia credit card | SiGMA NewsThe ABA is concerned about customers using credit cards to finance their gambling addiction, as punters will end up accumulating huge amounts of debts in a small time period. Therefore, the combination of a credit card and gambling addiction can lead to severe stress financially. 

As expected, the idea of this ban has met some opposition. They argue that the Australian betting industry is highly regulated and simply banning credit cards will not tackle the problem head on. Furthermore, by introducing such a ban, it may push local players to look at internationally licenced gambling sites who accept credit cards and a much wider variety of gambling products. 

However, the ABA made it clear that the report reflected the views of the participants rather than those of ABA members and it will be up to these members to determine the final findings and make their own decisions on how to proceed. 

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