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Australian Banks May Limit Cash Available to Gamblers

28 July 2004

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: "Banks will be forced to limit cash available at gambling venues and Centrelink will be enlisted to help the families of gambling addicts, under a Federal Opposition proposal to tackle problem gambling.

"If elected, Labor would ban all cash advances on credit cards from automatic teller machines and limit daily cash withdrawals on debit cards to $200 at casinos, clubs and pubs which had gambling facilities.

"…ATMs in gambling venues would have to display account balances after each transaction and display responsible gambling messages and information on problem gambling assistance.

"Banks would be obliged to offer problem gamblers the option to set lower daily withdrawal limits on cards. The plan won immediate support from the anti-gambling campaigner Tim Costello, the brother of the Treasurer, Peter Costello. Any proposal to protect the victims of problem gambling and limit the availability of money at gambling venues was welcome, the Reverend Costello said.

"…Clubs Australia and New Zealand said a daily withdrawal limit of $200 for debit cards at gaming venues would have a disastrous effect on community clubs, especially in regional areas where banks had withdrawn services…"

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