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Push to ban use of credit cards for online gambling and purchase of lotto tickets

The Australian Banking Association is considering new recommendations for banks which could mean credit card holders are barred from using their cards to buy lotto tickets or stratchies.

Newsagents have preemptively hit out at the potential tightening of gambling rules, saying lotto tickets are ‘low harm’ compared to other forms of gambling.

CEO of the Australian Banking Association, Anna Bligh, says it’s ultimately up to individual banks to decide whether they want to adopt the recommendations.

“Ultimately every bank will have to make their own decision,” she told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“Every bank makes a decision every time someone walks through the door, whether or not they’re going to lend for a particular purpose.”

But it’s highly unlikely that restrictions will be placed on the purchase of lotto tickets.

“The only way that you can actually do that technically is that you put a stop on the merchant code for those businesses that are gambling businesses,” Ms Bligh said.

“Merchant codes are attached to a business on the basis of their primary purpose. The primary purpose of most newsagents in Australia is not gambling.”

Citibank, Suncorp, Bank of Queensland and Macquarie Bank already prohibit the use of their credit cards for gambling, while ANZ bans credit card holders who have reached 85 per cent of their credit limit from using the card to gamble.

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Image: Bloomberg / Getty

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