Bank Australia to block gambling transactions via credit card

Bank Australia has prohibited credit card transactions for gambling purposes, in a move to support social responsibility. 

It comes after recent research by the bank underlined that around 87% of its customers were in favour of halting wagering transactions, with it now joining fellow financial institution Macquarie in implementing the policy. 

The firm also outlined that it understands and respects individuals’ freedom to gamble, with punters still able to proceed with gambling transactions via a debit card. 

Speaking to Business Insider Australia, a Bank Australia spokesperson stated: “As part of our commitment to responsible banking we want to make sure that the money we lend is used in ways that minimise potential harm to our customers and others. So in line with that commitment, we don’t think it’s responsible to continue to let customers use credit card debt to gamble,” he wrote in an email.

“We’ve engaged with our stakeholders and tested our position through research with customers, the overwhelming majority of whom support blocking gambling transactions on credit cards.”

The restrictions in Australia follow similar legislation in the UK, which saw a myriad of the most renowned banks strengthen gambling controls, following up new laws which also blocked credit card betting. 

Expert Analysis: Given the customer support that is already seemingly behind this move, it will likely be welcomed with open arms by the bank’s customer base. Furthermore, it comes at an important time with the pandemic increasing the importance of responsible gambling safeguards for many.