National Australia Bank (NAB) will begin offering its customers the ability to block themselves from making gambling payments.
Following widespread adoption of the initiative by UK banks last year, NAB becomes the first bank in Australia to do so. Having self-excluded, retail banking customers with a NAB Visa Credit or NAB Visa Debit card will only be able to remove the blocker using their banking app after a 48 hour delay.
“It’s very easy to place a bet, so there’s real value in giving people the option to plan ahead and control their spending,” NAB chief customer experience officer Rachel Slade said. “This tool is designed to put the choice in the hands of our customers.
“Since commencing the rollout in December we have seen more than 10,000 customers turn on the restriction, highlighting the importance of offering easy-to-use tools for customers to manage their finances.”
The move comes amid rising regulatory pressures and escalating enforcements against operators in Australia.
Two firms, Ladbrokes and Neds were issued with the largest fines to date for inducing people to gamble in February.
Four Ladbrokes and two Neds ads that ran across Channel 7, Instagram and Facebook were found guilty of offering bonus bets to new customers if they made a deposit – incurring fines of AU$207,500.
“Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm and these advertisements reached a broad segment of the population,” said Liquor & Gaming NSW Assistant Director of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres. “In NSW such advertisements are restricted to registered betting account holders.
“This record fine should serve as a reminder that betting operators have an obligation to ensure their gambling advertising complies with NSW laws.”