Earlier today, gambling reform groups and financial counsellors have appeared before Australian senators to make their pleas for the authorities to ban the use of credit cards for gambling transactions online.
A Senate committee heard the submissions of the aforementioned groups as it prepares to announce its recommendations regarding the use of credit cards for online gambling transactions. Under the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Prohibition on Credit Card Use) Bill 2020, Australia could follow the UK and impose a ban on credit card use for all forms of online gambling platforms.
The supporters of the proposed piece of legislation say the ban would make sure problem gamblers in the country are better protected against gambling-related harm, as they would not be able to use money they do not really have and push themselves into serious debt.
The stakeholders who gave evidence to the Senate committee on September 10th overwhelmingly supported the proposed ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling transactions in Australia. Now, the Committee is expected to make its final report on October 8th.
According to one of the supporters of the measure, Dr Mark Zirnsak from the anti-gambling group Alliance for Gambling Reform, if the proposed bill is passed, this would be a significant step forward in addressing the negative consequences of gambling on local communities. On the other hand, Financial Counselling Australia’s Lauren Levine highlighted that credit card use could inflict significant harm on people who find it hard to control their gambling, especially in the context of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Major Australian Sportsbooks to Support the Proposed Credit Card Ban on Online Gambling
As Casino Guardian has recently reported, this August sports betting companies in Australia revealed they would back the proposed ban on credit card use for online gambling transactions after years of opposition. At a time when the country’s Federal Government has been considering the possible implementation of stricter regulatory measures, the major online gambling operators in Australia, such as bet365, Sportsbet and Ladbrokes, have pledged to provide their support to the rules that are seeking to bring the country’s online gambling laws in line with the gambling legislation applicable to the rest of the gambling industry there.
In mid-August, Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) members revealed they would develop a technical solution that would allow them to implement the changes associated with the use of credit cards. At the time, the companies have called Australia’s largest banks and payment processing operators to help them make sure they deliver the changes properly.
Apart from regular credit cards, campaigners have shared concerns about e-wallets, such as PayPal, which can be fuelled by using credit cards.
According to Andrew Whitecross from the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the bill was not suggesting for local residents to engage in gambling activities but was only aimed at preventing players who were unable to stop acting impulsively and spend too much money while chasing losses.