Kiwi punters and those Down Under will soon have less credit to spend on online gambling. The Australian and New Zealand Banking Group has now announced that they will be implementing a cap on their client’s credit cards.
The bank's implementation of the new credit terms came in to effect on the 1st of December.
Speaking in front of a royal commission on banking, ANZ chief Shayne Elliot shared the bank’s plans to cap credit card spending with online casinos at 85% of the account's limit. He said that the cap would remove the temptation to bet the entire limit, and contribute to reducing problem gambling. He also shared that the bank is busy investigating ways to exclude anyone involved with tobacco.
Elliot was sharing evidence while fielding allegations that ANZ has been involved in several incidences of misconduct. The allegations include breaking lending laws and unfair treatment of its clients, which included five instances where they overcharged a total of 2 million client accounts.
The bank decided on an 85% cap to ensure its clients still have access to some funds for other expenses. Elliot stated that it is a matter of social responsibility to ensure that people have access to cash for other purposes.
Limiting the use of credit cards in the gambling industry is not new in Australia, where players may not use credit cards for any other gaming entertainment.
Australia has the second highest annual loss rate per person, per year, at $1000. That is $350 dollars more than the next highest country, Singapore with a $650 average. This means that the country’s citizens wager $24 billion per year, of which a third is bet online.
Many casino companies will argue that they offer self-exclusion tools and therefore provide a responsible service. However, problem gamblers do not always utilize self-exclusion tools, either because they do not recognize that they have a problem, or they do not have the willpower to stop. In addition, self-exclusion tools are controlled by the player who can reactivate their account. This is where ANZ believes the credit card sub-limit will help.
Lowering the limit of credit allowed for online gambling activities is the latest move to gain control over the territories issues.
Lawmakers have also started to implement advertising regulation that will protect children from early exposure, and reduce the number of problem gamblers.