In Ireland, a report from the Independent Mortgage Advisers Federation (IMAF) has warned online gamblers that they face being rejected for a mortgage and other loans because they are seen as high-risk borrowers.
According to a report from The Irish Times newspaper and the BBC, Michael Dowling, Spokesperson for the IMAF, has revealed that banks are now regarding this hobby very negatively.
He stated that, while any such activity appearing on a current account submitted to a bank as part of a mortgage application would not automatically disqualify someone from being granted a loan, it was one of the criteria being applied ‘in a market where they are looking for any excuses’ to reject applications.
“The banks will never admit it, but it is . . . being discussed,” said Dowling.
“I don’t think online gambling is to be encouraged if people are making a mortgage application in particular if there are regular amounts going out.
'In a market where money is tight and the availability of credit is limited, banks are cherry-picking the type of customers they want to lend money to. If you are gambling online on a regular basis, say for example you have €150 per month, the bank will take that amount of money from your gross income and it does reduce the amount of money you can borrow. 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.”
Ronan Sheridan from Allied Irish Bank revealed that, while there was no policy that explicitly said online gambling would prevent a person getting a mortgage, he stated that his institution examined ‘anything that could impact on an applicant’s ability to repay’.