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ABA consultation supports restrictions on credit cards for gambling

A recent Australian Banking Association (ABA) web survey found 81 per cent of Australians are concerned about the use of credit cards for gambling. Of 813 responses, 27 per cent supported restrictions, while 54 per cent stated their use should be banned altogether. Only 7 per cent of respondents said there should be no restrictions.

The survey complemented a formal submission process announced in late 2019 in which the ABA’s particular interest was in community and stakeholder views on financial institutions allowing credit cards to be used for online gambling and the role of banks in mitigating gambling-related harm.

The Foundation’s written submission recommended a ban on credit cards for all gambling. We noted that around one in five people who bet on racing or sports is likely to experience harm and that race and sports bettors are many times more likely to use debt to gamble than others. When someone experiencing gambling harm uses debt to continue gambling, the harm is likely to increase.

Most respondents to the ABA consultation, both in written submissions and short survey responses, supported prohibition of the use of credit cards for online gambling. The associated risks were considered to significantly outweigh any potential benefits for customers, especially for vulnerable populations.

The consultation attracted 40 written submissions from consumer advocates, online wagering companies and peak body Responsible Wagering Australia, academics, government agencies, gambling counsellors and individuals. Submissions to the ABA detailed a range of benefits to banning or restricting credit cards as a means of paying for gambling.

The ABA has asked its members to assess the consultation report and make their own decisions regarding any changes to the use of credit cards for gambling.

For more information, read the report.

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