The Australian banking industry is contemplating taking action to limit the use of credit cards in gambling with the launch of a new consultation.
The public consultation asks for opinions on a range of issues associated with internet gambling, including a ban or limitation on credit card usage. According to the CEO of the Australian Banking Association (ABA), Anna Bligh, banks have the potential to play a major role in helping to tackle problem gambling, which is why they were asking the public and stakeholders for their opinions:
“For many Australians gambling is a form of entertainment and recreation, however for some it can become a problem that potentially has devastating consequence for the individual and their family. As an industry we are currently assessing a number of options to help tackle problem gambling.”
The ABA put out their consultation document on Thursday, in which, among other issues, they asked for opinions on the dangers of credit card gambling and suggestions for potential restrictions.
UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) are also running a similar consultation on the same issue. It is widely expected that the UKGC will recommend either a partial or total ban on credit card gambling when the consultation findings are announced next year.
The launch also comes at the same time as the Australian government has strengthened the provisions for self-exclusion in the gaming industry. On Thursday, the federal government passed a law that gave problem gamblers the chance to exclude themselves from gambling sites, by creating a national self-exclusion register. This would give individuals the power to opt out of being able to visit these sites for time periods ranging from three months to indefinitely.
Gambling websites that fail to abide by an individual’s self-exclusion will face penalties, and the register itself will be overseen by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.