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Bank Australia to halt gambling with credit cards

| By Robert Fletcher
Consumer-owned banking group, Bank Australia, has announced that it will no longer allow its account holders to use its credit cards to fund gambling.
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The new measure will come into effect from 1 December this year, with the bank to block any attempted transactions related to gambling from this date.

Customers will still be able to fund gambling using their Bank Australia debit card.

“Our research shows the majority of our customers believe credit cards should not be used for gambling, and as a customer-owned bank, our customers’ opinions are a big part of our decision making,” Bank Australia said.

Bank Australia also said it had discussed the new measure with the Australian Banking Association, and that several other members of the organisation were likely to take similar steps in limiting gambling on credit cards.

“Under our Responsible Banking Policy, we don’t lend money to the gambling industry including casinos, online gambling operators or businesses that derive revenue directly from poker machines or sports betting,” Bank Australia said.

“Not authorising gambling on credit cards is an extension of our existing lending policy.”

In December last year, the Australian Banking Association invited stakeholders to give feedback on potential restrictions on the use of credit cards to fund online gambling.

The consultation, which also looked at how banks could help better protect players, ran until 4 March.

Before the consultation ended, National Australia Bank became the first bank in the country to offer its customers the option to block gambling transactions via its mobile application.

Retail banking customers with a NAB Visa Credit or NAB Visa Debit card can restrict most gambling payments, including sports betting, casino games and online gambling.

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