NZ Banks Restrict Gambling on Credit

Tia Winter | 10 July 2019

Credit cards have long been used as a widely popular and globally accepted iGaming payment method. However, this might not be the case for much longer. It has now been confirmed that within the next few months, major banks and credit agencies across New Zealand might restrict credit card payments pertaining to gambling-related services and products.

In December last year, ANZ Group became one of the world’s first companies to have introduced a new limit on any payments made to online gambling portals using credit cards. Following this measure, the firm’s New Zealand division has initiated discussions with stakeholders in the nation’s gaming industry in a bid to implement its own reasonable restrictions on wagering on credit.

Macquarie Implements New Limits

Just last week, prominent Australian bank Macquarie banned gambling using credit cards for residents Down Under. The bank has become the first major financial institution in Australia to do so, and it is expected that more banks will follow suit over the coming months. According to Macquarie, banning credit card usage for gambling was intended to protect its customers’ best interests.

Head of Personal Banking at Macquarie, Ben Perham, further elaborated that the blocking of transactions registered under a lottery and gambling merchant code, along with putting a cap on cash advance balances, are just a few of the crucial steps his organization has taken. Perham says that these moves will support the ‘financial wellbeing’ of the bank’s customers – while presumably also protecting them from the potential harms of excessive betting.

Opposition to Credit Gaming Grows

Using credit facilities to gamble is a practice that has been widely opposed by numerous social groups across Australia, New Zealand, and various parts of Europe as well. Opponents of the practice warn that gambling on credit could encourage excessive gambling habits while forcing addicts into a situation in which they might battle to repay what they owe, let alone the interest accrued.

Across the pond in the UK, the Labour Party has recently demanded a ban on the usage of credit cards for any gambling-related payments as well, becoming part of a growing trend.

With all this said, considering that credit cards are one of the global iGaming industry’s most widely used (and widely trusted) online payment methods, players and operators alike might find themselves scrambling to find new, similarly secure and convenient options through which to make deposits and withdrawals. Luckily, numerous other reputable eWallets and systems are available to fill the potential void that credit card payments might soon leave in their wake.

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