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Use of credit cards for gambling transactions consultation paper

In December 2019 the Australian Banking Association (ABA) announced that it was seeking community views on the use of credit cards for gambling. The consultation received almost 50 submissions from both individuals and organisations.

The Salvation Army’s submission outlines that we strongly support financial institutions voluntarily blocking gambling transactions on credit cards and applauds those institutions that have already taken this step. The Salvation Army’s observations and recommendations are summarized below:

  • Our primary concern with credit card-enabled gambling is that it enables significant debt to accumulate very quickly.
  • Our recommendation to financial institutions is that prohibiting the use of credit cards will be more effective and beneficial than simply restricting their use.
  • It is the view of The Salvation Army that the risks associated with using credit while gambling apply to all forms of gambling and therefore, it should be prohibited (or at least, restricted) in all forms of gambling.
  • As gambling addiction is an impulse control disorder, there is always the possibility that a person who is unable to use a credit card will seek other forms of credit or ways around prohibition.

The ABA released their consultation report in December 2020. The ABA did not make any recommendations or suggestion regarding the restriction or banning of credit cards for gambling, they instead asked their members to assess the consultation report and make their own decisions regarding any changes.

The Salvation Army continues to argue against the use of credit cards in gambling, including through the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications’ Inquiry into Interactive Gambling Amendment (Prohibition on Credit Card Use) Bill 2020.

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