Australian banks are introducing new ways to help their customers manage their spending on gambling. For instance, with some banks you can ask for restrictions or blocks on using credit cards for gambling.
Credit cards with gambling limits or blocks
Although credit cards can normally be used to gamble online, some banks do not allow credit cards to be used for online gambling at all, or only up to a certain limit. Transactions that the bank identifies are for gambling can be declined when you’ve reached the credit limit threshold set by the bank, or if it is a credit card that can’t be used for gambling.
If you want to introduce a limit on your credit card or move to a credit card that does not allow any gambling, you should ask your bank what your options are. You can shop around if you aren’t happy with your options, as some banks have more options than others, including credit cards that can’t be used for gambling.
Voluntary limits or blocks
In addition to existing product restrictions, you can ask your bank for your cards to be blocked from gambling. Gambling blocks apply to most transactions on gambling websites, as well as transactions such as money transfers and over-the-counter payments. You can also ask for a time delays on removing any blocks that you have requested, to avoid making an impulsive decision you may later regret.
You can also ask for a cash block or limit on your credit card to limit how much cash you can take out in a certain time period.
Tracking your spending
Most banks have mobile applications that you can use to track your spending, including setting up alerts and messages to let you know how much you are spending.
If you’re experiencing financial hardship or want help to manage your spending, you can contact your banks’ Customer Support or Customer Care team who will talk you through your options, including gambling restrictions if they offer them.
Depending on your circumstances, if you are experiencing financial difficulties there may be hardship assistance options to help you. For example, they may be able to:
- freeze loans (in exceptional circumstances, such as after a natural disaster)
- defer or reduce loan repayments
- restructure and consolidate loans
- alter loan repayments to interest-only
- change limits on lines of credit (e.g. credit card)
- waive specific fees, charges or penalties.
Don’t be afraid to seek help
If you want help or advice on gambling, speak to someone you trust or contact us for free and confidential advice at Gambling Help NSW on 1800 858 858 or at www.gamblinghelponline.org.au/