Loans Denied For Playing Online Bingo ?

Many people blame the collapse of the housing ‘bubble’ in the United States as the cause of the current global recession. Many economists say that the lowering of credit standards by lending institutions resulted in people purchasing houses that they could not afford in the first place. Since then most banks and lenders have tightened credit requirements and have stricter standards and are requiring larger down payments. Like any other group internet bingo players have been affected but who knew that playing internet bingo could result in a loan being denied.

According to one bingo news source banks in Ireland are using internet bingo and gambling transactions as excuses to deny loans to players. A recent report suggests that banks are taking into consideration whether a person is gambling online when approving loan applications. Other factors taken into consideration are digital TV subscriptions, private school tuition fees and mobile phone bills. Banks are setting these guidelines themselves and Irish laws do not address the connection of gambling to one’s ability to apply for a loan.

Trevor Grant, CEO of the mortgage advisory company Negotiate said that online gaming transactions, including those for online bingo, are widely used by banks as a reason to deny or restructure loan applications. Grant stated “When a lender assesses an application for reduced mortgage repayments due to financial difficulty, the customer is required to submit a detailed application, often including current account and credit-card statements. Lenders will form a view that if the customer is struggling to pay their mortgage they should be tightening their belts, and they consider gambling, for example, as a non-essential activity and therefore should be one of the first social indulgences to be cut.”

The new standards could adversely affect internet bingo players in the UK which is the world’s largest internet bingo market. Michael Dowling, a spokesman for the Independent Mortgages Advisers Federation, said that banks look at internet gambling in a very negative light. Dowling said that signs of internet gambling on a bank statement do not mean an automatic disqualification but that t is one of the criteria used by lenders. Dowling stated “The banks will never admit it, but it is… being discussed,” said Mr. Dowling. “Banks are paying a lot more attention to bank statements now… and if they see even €150 going into an online gambling account each month they frown on it.” Who knew that a harmless pastime like online bingo or online slots could have such dire consequences?