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Banks Oppose Net Bet Card Ban
Bankers have dismissed a proposal to block Australian punters from
using credit cards at online casinos, arguing their customers should be
allowed to "spend their money how they choose".
A proposal to enforce the ban on foreign online gambling sites by
blocking credit-card transactions is being considered by the Federal
Government as part of a review of the Interactive Gambling Act.
A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Daryl Williams said the
much-anticipated review would be completed "shortly".
The 2001 legislation made gambling at casino-style sites illegal, but
many internet users are flouting the restrictions by using foreign
The Australian Bankers’ Association has rejected the
transaction-block plan, warning banks should not be forced to become
"We don’t think the payment system should be used to block
transactions, because if it’s used in one area it could be used in
others," an ABA spokeswoman said.
"If the Government decides to block a gambling transaction it could
be used to block other transactions we don’t think the payment system
should be used for that.
"You choose to spend your money how you choose why should anyone
The bankers warn a ban would be difficult to enforce.
Although internet gambling merchants are identified by credit-card
companies with a special code, some conceal their identities by
pretending not to be involved in gambling.
"We don’t think banks should be required to pay the cost of the
online gambling problem," the ABA spokeswoman said.
A National Australia Bank spokeswoman said it was not possible to
block transactions "with a great degree of accuracy" and there was a
danger of blocking everything.
"For example, a newsagent selling lottery tickets could be blocked,"
The Commonwealth Bank, however, said a ban can be enforced.
"We support government regulations requiring credit-card issuers to
identify and block illegal gambling transactions," consumer finance
general manager Rod Hyde said.
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2004 Online Casino News Archive