Suncorp Bank and QUT release new gambling support toolkit
This Gambling Harm Awareness Week, Suncorp Bank and QUT are launching a gambling support toolkit highlighting key opportunities for banks.
Australians lose an estimated $22 billion on gambling each year, representing the largest per capita losses in the world. But are we gambling with more than our money?
Gambling is associated with significant health, social and economic harms with impacts on personal finances, family, mental and physical health, productivity, and the economy. These harms don’t just impact people who gamble, they impact their families, peers, businesses, and communities. While gambling is a socially acceptable pastime in Australia, talking about gambling-related harms isn’t. So, let’s talk about it.
This Gambling Harm Awareness Week, Suncorp Bank and QUT have launched a gambling support toolkit highlighting key opportunities for banks to consider implementing. These include:
- Screening and monitoring;
- Blocks and restrictions;
- Refining policies and procedures;
- Partnerships with service providers; and
- Employee training.
Amanda Forster, Executive Manager of Suncorp Group’s Office of the Customer Advocate, said: “I have heard firsthand how gambling has affected Australians and not just the financial losses experienced but the loss of relationships within family members too.
“There is nothing more important than having a support network and we as a Bank are included in this network.
“It’s time we take an industry stance and implement more initiatives that reduce gambling harms on Australians,” Ms. Forster said.
With new technologies such as smartphones and betting apps, a liberalised regulatory environment, clever marketing and increasing social normalisation, gambling is more accessible than ever.
QUT Professor Ross Gordon said: “The toolkit collaboration with Suncorp Bank outlines how banks can support customers experiencing gambling-related harms and raise awareness, address stigma and encourage support seeking. These recommendations can help reduce the harms caused by gambling in Australia.”
It’s time we take an industry stance and implement more initiatives that reduce gambling harms on Australians.Amanda Forster, Executive Manager of Suncorp Group’s Office of the Customer Advocate
Suncorp Bank also recently introduced a gambling lock, which can be easily activated by customers and instantly block most gambling transactions on a Suncorp Visa debit card. The lock restricts transactions at most gambling services including sports betting, casino games and online gambling.
The gambling lock and toolkit add to a suite of Suncorp Bank products and services that support customers experiencing gambling-related harms. These include:
- Suncorp Bank credit cards cannot be used for gambling transactions.
- Unable to use Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) products for cash advances and gambling transactions.
- We have a customer care team who are specially trained to help people who may be experiencing gambling-related harms and can connect customers to additional support services.
- Training materials for our customer-facing teams.
Lauren Levin, Financial Counselling Australia’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, said: “In a recent survey, gambling financial counsellors told us nine out of ten people with gambling related issues could not afford food and essential services or pay their rent or mortgage. The top reported impact on others was relationship breakdown (95%).
“So many families are quietly suffering, and we welcome Suncorp Bank’s approach to helping customers in a non-judgemental way. Financial counsellors help both people who gamble and family members whose lives are impacted by someone close to them gambling.