Australian Macquarie bans credit card gambling transactions

Australian bank Macquarie has disclosed new changes to its rules of use including a blanket ban on gambling and lottery transactions on its credit cards.

From July 1, clients of Macquarie will have their transaction blocked if the payment is classified under the merchant codes as gambling.

In a statement to PaymentExpert, the Remote Gambling Association said: “We have encouraged all banks to provide a debit and credit card blocking option for their customers. We welcomed the announcements by a number of banks that they will provide card blocking services as a hugely significant step towards helping people control their spend on gambling.

“Our members continually monitor spend on credit cards and it is an important indicator for potential responsible gambling intervention. We believe that giving people the option to block their credit card rather than an outright ban is a better solution for the customer and for the ability to identify and track responsible play.”

This comes after the New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling announced it is investing AU$1.3m (£715,712) into player protection measures.

The bank does recognise that the ban could be difficult to impose where merchants provide gaming services but their primary business is categorised under another code that is not identified by the card for gambling.

According to Australian Finance Review, an explanation of the changes is set to be sent to the card owners which stated: “There will be other instances where we are unable to block the authorisation of gambling or lottery related transactions. You’ll continue to be responsible for these, and all charges on your card.”

The decision follows a trend of regulatory boards from all over the globe who are tackling the issue of problem gambling and in particular its correlation with credit card usage.

Macquarie is also set to announce a range of other changes to the card, such as no long charging international transaction fees on overseas purchase.

It is also planning to remove the international fee of 3% on overseas cash withdrawals.