- »Victoria Addresses Online Gambling and Bank Options
Victoria Addresses Online Gambling and Bank Options
Of all Australian territories, Victoria has been the one with the most actively communicative responsible gambling organization during the coronavirus pandemic. The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has been issuing regular notices.
Online Gambling Message
The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) warned about online gambling multiple times throughout the Covid-19 shutdowns. This was likely a response to surveys and other research that found people using online casinos and online poker sites quite a bit more than normal. Confined to their homes and without any venues to visit, they turned online for some entertainment.
The VRGF said online gambling can be the result of boredom, lack of entertainment, stress, or anxiety. Advisor Tony Clarkson said the move toward online gambling for the first time or in greater frequency can push people toward gambling, and they do so through various apps and websites.
Clarkson said, “The bottom line is that gambling doesn’t always relieve stress, but it can generate additional stress due to financial losses and cause a person’s wellbeing to suffer.”
Managing Online Gambling
The most recent message from the VRGF – this week – focused on managing online gambling. This seems to be a more relevant message, since prohibition rarely works and scolding adults like they are children is usually not received well.
The VRGF urges people to take control of their online betting and gambling, which is something supported by all Aussie online casino sites and betting operators.
One of the ways to stay in control is to limit the amount of money spent on gambling. This is quite easy with most online casino operators offer systems to put deposit limits on an account, whether by day, week, or month. Any customer service representative can assist with this type of transaction.
Players can, of course, personally set limits, especially with regard to time. Setting an alarm to limit the amount of time spend gambling is a very positive way to stay alert. It also helps to choose a more difficult online deposit option, which requires the player to make calculated moves to fund the account and requires more time to consider it.
Online sites can also provide players with account statements that track deposits and withdrawals. Some sites even provide a breakdown of the time the player spends online.
The VRGF also reminds players that they can self-exclude from an online site – or many of them – for a period of time or forever.
Players can also opt out of marketing messages by removing themselves from the email lists and turning off app notifications on their mobile devices and in browsers.
Credit Card Options
Financial institutions began taking steps within the past year regarding gambling transactions via credit card. Since most Aussie pokies sites do accept Mastercard and Visa credit cards for deposits, the decision is left to the individual card issuer – the bank or financial institution) to make processing decisions. Some banks have chosen not to process any gambling transactions, while others simply provided an option for players to manage it themselves.
These are the options that major credit card-issuing banks provide to their customers:
- Macquarie Bank = Bans use of credit cards for any gambling, will block transactions registered under a gambling and lottery merchant code
- National Australia Bank (NAB) = special app allows customers to block gambling transactions, can unblock but requires 48-hour notice for consideration
- Bank of Melbourne = customers can block transactions registered by merchants as betting/casino gambling, relates to credit cards only
- Commonwealth Bank = customers can block gambling-related and cash transactions on credit and debit cards up to six months, can be referred to “community wellbeing” advisor”
- Westpac = customers can block transactions on debit or credit cards marked as betting/casino gambling, must contact customer support for details
According to the VRGF list, there are also a number of credit card companies that institute their own bans to block gambling transactions on credit cards. In addition to Macquarie Bank listed above, these reportedly do the same:
- American Express
- Citi / Citibank
- Bank of Queensland
- Credit Union of Australia (CUA)
- Virgin Money
Victoria Coronavirus Numbers
As for the coronavirus shutdown, Victorian officials are beginning to relax some of the restrictions.
As of this week, Victorian residents will be able to gather in group of up to five people that include family and friends and group of 10 that involve community events. Some religious gatherings are also now permitted, as well as community sports.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the slow-but-steady reopening with caution. “We have to use our common sense,” he said. “We have to be proportionate (and) recognize that this is far from over.”
However, it looks as if pubs, clubs, and casinos will remain closed for some time. Cinemas, galleries, stadiums, and zoos may open in the second phase, with most everything else in the third phase. This third step is not exactly clear, though, but will become clearer as the first two steps find success.
Victoria showed the second-highest coronavirus cases in Australia, with 1,520 of them and 18 resulting in death. However, the downward trend in cases for weeks gave officials the confidence to start emerging from the shutdown.