Bank Australia bans customers from gambling with its credit cards, joining a growing list of banks taking anti-gaming measures

Supplied: Bank Australia
  • Bank Australia has written to its customers informing them that the bank’s credit cards can’t be used for gambling transactions from December 1 this year.
  • This move brings Bank Australia in line with a number of Australian banks, such as Macquarie Bank and Suncorp, and international banks such as American Express and Citibank.
  • The bank said its decision is overwhelmingly supported by its customers.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Bank Australia has joined a growing list of Australian banks that block gambling on their credit cards, citing a commitment to responsible banking.

Last week, Bank Australia wrote to its customers informing them that the company will be “blocking all gambling and gaming transactions on credit cards” from December 1 this year.

This move restricts its customers from spending on gambling and gaming transactions including poker machines, online gambling, casinos, government lotteries, horse and dog racing using its credit card products.

The block relies on information provided by merchants, including transaction codes that classify a purchase as gambling-related.

Bank Australia customers are still able to use Bank Australia’s debit cards to gamble.

A Bank Australia spokesperson told Business Insider Australia that the bank made the decision based on their customers’ expectations that funds are lent in a responsible way.

“As part of our commitment to responsible banking we want to make sure that the money we lend is used in ways that minimise potential harm to our customers and others. So in line with that commitment, we don’t think it’s responsible to continue to let customers use credit card debt to gamble,” he wrote in an email.

“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.”

According to Bank Australia, 87% of it’s customers support banning lending to businesses or gambling operators that earn morning directly from poker machines or sports betting.

In making this decision, the bank — which is a customer-owned bank formed from 72 credit unions and co-operatives — is following in the footsteps of a number of other Australian banks, like Macquarie Bank, Suncorp, Bank of Queensland and CUA.

A number of large international banks have also have the same policy, including American Express and Citibank.

While not outright banning gambling, other banks such as Westpac and Commonwealth Bank allow customers to opt-in to a personal gambling ban.

And late last year, the Australian Banking Association began a consultation process to find out the public’s views on the use of credit cards for gambling. The results of this consultation have not yet been published.