Banks in Australia could block credit gambling

An association that backs banks in Australia said that the entities could ban or limit the use of credit cards for online gambling.

Australia.- The use of credit cards to gamble online could be restricted or banned in Australia after an association launched a public consultation on the internet. The Australian Banking Association believes it has a responsibility in helping tackle problem gambling.

The association’s CEO, Anna Bligh, said that banks have an important role in making sure that problem gambling is tackled, and that’s why they’re seeking feedback from the community, 9news reported.

“For many Australians gambling is a form of entertainment and recreation, however for some it can become a problem that potentially has a devastating consequence for the individual and their family,” Bligh said in a statement on Thursday. “As an industry, we are currently assessing a number of options to help tackle problem gambling,” she added.

The association launched a consultation on paper yesterday and aims to collect community views on the risks of gambling online while using credit cards. It also seeks views on what restrictions could be implemented.

Australia to legislate self-exclusion register

The Australian government has announced that it will legislate an online National Self-Exclusion Register. The register will allow people to ban themselves from all online gambling sites and apps.

Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services, said that the register is a key measure within the first National Consumer Protection Framework for online wagering in Australia. “As much as possible Government policy should preserve Australians’ ability to enjoy a punt while putting in place sensible and targeted measures to prevent and support gamblers facing significant risks of harm,” Minister Ruston said.

The National Self-Exclusion Register allows individuals to ban themselves from using all interactive wagering services across state boundaries for a period ranging from three months o permanently. “It is a measure that we believe will motivate gamblers to have periods where they do not gamble online at all as a way of changing their behaviour and minimising the risk they face of gambling-related harm.”

All costs to set up and administer the Register will be recovered from interactive wagering providers to ensure they contribute their fair share and encourage them to provide safe environments for their customers, explained a media release from the government. Upon registration for self-exclusion, all funds held in a consumer’s active accounts must be returned to that consumer once all wagers/bets are settled and the account must then be closed.

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