BCLC Calls on Banks to Support Harm Reduction and Safer Gambling
January 8, 2021
The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) has issued a call for greater cooperation between the gaming industry and financial institutions to better protect consumers from gambling-related harm and help support safer gambling.
The BCLC’s ninth annual New Horizons in Responsible Gambling, focused on Banking on a Different Perspective: The Financial Industry’s Role in Safer Gambling, concluded that banks and other financial-services firms are in a uniquely influential position to not only support the financial wellbeing of their customers but also their healthy gambling.
BCLC director of player health Jamie Wiebe said the operator aims to encourage more collaboration between the two industries to offer more support to players and consumers.
Wiebe suggests that banks instigating tools to help customers control their behaviour would benefit gambling operators and help to encourage them to develop and refine their own responsible gambling strategies.
"Banks have an important role to play in helping gambling operators better understand the relationship between their customers’ spending and gambling behaviours, which helps the gambling industry enhance our tools in response," Wiebe said.
"As the industry looks to support the health and wellbeing of our players overall, it’s critical that we engage with other industries in these important discussions that identify new learnings that help shape our collective approach."
UK-based online bank Monzo is one financial institution that has already installed measures to help customers safely and responsibly manage their gambling, such as a blocking feature which allows customers to temporarily suspend gambling purchases. The tool, launched in June 2018, uses unique merchant codes provided by major credit card companies to identify when a customer attempts to make a gambling-related purchase and prevent them from doing so.
Speaking at the BCLC event, Monzo’s vulnerability manager Natalie Ledward agreed that banks have a role to play in identifying bettors' spending habits and helping to prevent future problem gambling. "Banks have the opportunity to be the first to find out about their customers’ gambling behaviours and can begin to offer those customers help," Ledward said.