BCLC webinar: How financial institutions can support customers with safer gambling

By Tim Poole

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation recently conducted the first of two virtual pre-conference sessions, named Banking on a Different Perspective: The Financial Industry’s Role in Safer Gambling. Below is an extract from the webinar sent to Gambling Insider:

Financial-services firms are in a unique position to not only support the financial wellbeing of their customers – but also their healthy-gambling decisions.

That was the focus of last month’s New Horizons in Responsible Gambling pre-conference session Banking on a Different Perspective: The Financial Industry’s Role in Safer Gambling, hosted by BCLC.

Session speaker Natalie Ledward, vulnerability manager at Monzo Bank Ltd. in the UK (pictured right), outlined that bank’s strategy to provide digital tools and support resources to customers who request help with gambling-related financial decisions.

For example, Monzo introduced a gambling blocking tool in 2018 that allows customers to temporarily suspend gambling purchases from their Monzo bank account(s). Using unique merchant codes provided by major credit-card companies, Monzo’s blocking tool identifies when a customer attempts to make a gambling-related purchase, and prevents them from doing so.

“Banks play a huge role in identifying people’s spending habits,” Ledward said. “They have the opportunity to be the first to find out about their customers’ gambling behaviours and can begin to offer those customers help.”

Session panelist Simon McNair, policy advisor at the UK-based Behavioural Insight Team (pictured left), shared how banks can play a more significant role in providing perspective about how gambling behaviours factor into broader financial behaviours.

“Banks show a great degree of pro-activity already,” said McNair. “Controlling gambling behaviour, especially more problematic behaviour, is absolutely in-part a money-management issue. Helping customers to that end will have numerous benefits – from helping people to keep their accounts in good standing, preventing people falling into debt, or to helping them to pay down debt.”


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