Bank Australia bans credit card transactions involving gambling

By Violeta Prockyte

Bank Australia banned its customers from using their bank accounts to fund gaming and gambling services. Customers were informed their credit cards will not support gaming expenses come December.

Bank Australia said: “Effective from 1 December 2020 we are blocking all gambling and gaming transactions on credit cards.”

Bank Australia stands by its decision since it believes the move should help customers control gambling-related spending. 

Some customers were left disappointed, questioning if the bank has a right to decide the usage of money and asked if unhealthy foods, like McDonald's, will be the next to be banned.

According to the Courier Mail, chief executive of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores Jeff Rogut said: “I don't think the companies that are offering the service should decide where consumers are spending their money.” 

Business Insider Australia reported that the situation might not be entirely one-sided. The customers can still use debit cards to pay for gambling transactions.

Bank Australia added: “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.”

Bank Australia is not the only one to restrict gambling-related transactions; the list includes Macquarie Bank, Suncorp, Bank of Queensland and CUA, while customers from Westpac and Commonwealth Bank can opt-in to a personal gambling ban. 

In Great Britain, the Gambling Commission banned the use of credit cards to gamble in the country from April this year.

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