Australian Bank Macquarie has banned gambling with credit cards. It has become the first major Australian Bank to do so.
Starting from Monday, all credit card transactions which are registered under a gambling and lottery merchant code will be blocked.
The bank said that the new policy for credit card usage had been announced to protect the interests of customers. The decision by the Australian Bank could also put pressure on other major banks operating in the country under pressure to adopt a similar policy.
Ben Perham, Macquarie’s head of personal banking, said that the move to block credit card payments for gambling is to save customers from unwanted and problematic gambling debts.
“The blocking of transactions that are registered under a gambling and lottery merchant code, as well as capping cash advance balances, are just some of the important steps we’re taking to support the financial wellbeing of our customers when they bank with Macquarie,” Perham said.
AGR director Tim Costello said that “Australian banks have been gouging millions from gamblers by treating credit card deposits as cash advances which carry high up-front fees and instant excessive interest charges running to nearly 20 percent.”
“Rather than collaborating with a largely foreign-owned predatory industry and joining with them to make excessive profits from debt-funded gambling, Macquarie demonstrated great social leadership.
“Now that the precedent has been set by Macquarie, it is time the big four also pulled the plug on the likes of Beteasy, Bet365, Sportsbet, and Ladbrokes, just as [Macquarie] have now done.”