Future of Credit Card Gambling Under Threat in Australia, ABA Survey Finds

A new survey conducted by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) shows credit cards could become prohibited for gambling activities.

The ABA survey, known as Every Customer Counts, asked for community views on gambling transactions last year. Findings from the survey have been published and many participants felt the availability of credit cards contributed to problem gambling. Consequently, these responses could impact the future use of credit cards for gambling activities in Australia.

Overwhelming Response Against the Use of Credit Cards

Results from the Every Customer Counts report shows how participants were overwhelmingly in favor of prohibiting credit cards for gambling activity in Australia. Analysis of the survey specifically outlined the problems of credit cards for at-risk groups.

The report stated that: “the associated risks were considered to significantly outweigh any potential benefits for customers, especially for vulnerable populations.”

The study collected 40 written submissions from betting operators, gambling counselors, consumer advocates, academics, and government agencies, in addition to 813 individual bettor responses to a short online survey.

Further results show 81% of randomly selected Australians supported a complete or partial ban on credit cards while just 7% felt there should be no restrictions.

However, many of the responders noted that land-based gambling venues, such as casinos, sporting venues, and pubs, already have bans on the use of credit cards. Those against a ban also highlighted that the betting industry already regulates credit card use strictly. Others felt a ban on credit cards would not address the root of the problem gambling.

Will this lead to a Ban on Credit Card Use for Online Gambling in Australia?

The ABA has stated that they do not represent the views shown in the Every Customer Counts report. Its members will analyze the data on deciding how to proceed with the responses in the coming months.

But the findings could lead to public pressure on ABA member banks to further restrict credit cards. In December 2020, Bank Australia banned the use of credit cards for gambling activity, a move that was supported by 87% of its customers. Macquarie Bank also blocked all credit card activity for gambling and lotteries in 2019.

If more banks decide to follow suit and restrict credit cards used in gambling, it could signal the end of credit cards and online gambling. Some responders to the survey believed that all Australian banks and regulators need to align their regulations to address problem gambling in the country.

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