Sunday 22 April 2018

Credit cards put squeeze on punters


WANT to have a bet on Wayne Rooney scoring twice this weekend?

WANT to have a bet on Wayne Rooney scoring twice this weekend? Don’t use your credit card. Gamblers and high rollers will be punished by supermarket group Tesco, which has introduced restrictions on betting for its credit card holders.

“We do allow gambling transactions on our credit card. However, we do not allow the full credit limit to be used for such transactions,” said a Tesco spokesman.

“We believe that this amounts to a responsible approach to the use of our credit card,” the spokesman for Tesco told the Sunday Independent last week.

The company declined to comment on whether its restriction on spending money at the bookies would be extended to other possibly non-puritan pursuits, such as stocking up on gargle, cigarettes or multiple copies of Loaded magazine. But Tesco Clubcard credit card isn’t the only plastic to penalise customers having a bit of a punt.

Deposits to gambling websites are widely classed as cash withdrawals and attract a far higher rate of interest than normal transactions.

MBNA, which provides credit cards for the likes of Ryanair, Axaplus and also has some sneaky small print that is - targeting gamblers.

Many of these cards have reward schemes where points are earned for spending money. Gambling transactions do not qualify for points.

Online and telephone gambling has exploded in Ireland in recent years, with a report from PWC indicating that close to €797m was gambled online, or by phone, in the last year.

Clearly, it’s a mug’s game — unless of course you’re a credit card company.

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