ABA Pushes For Credit Cards To Be Banned in Online Gambling
- ABA said the Australian government must implement a credit card ban for the online gambling sector
- The measure has been in place in the land-based gambling industry since the 2000s
- The ban is backed by the leading online wagering firms in Australia
The use of credit cards at land-based gambling venues is currently prohibited, but the same rule has yet to be implemented in the online gambling industry in Australia.
The Australian Banking Association (ABA) is questioning why it’s taking so long for the federal government to come up with a similar measure for the online gambling sector given the potential harms that credit card use can cause to Australian gamblers.
Banks Concerned of Potential Harms Associated with Credit Card Gambling
Since the early 2000s, Australian punters have been prohibited from using credit cards to gamble at casinos, racetracks, pubs, and betting shops across the country. When that law took effect 23 years ago, online gambling was still non-existent in Australia.
Now, the industry, which is under the oversight of the federal government, is generating around $50 billion in annual revenue.
Over the years, there have been calls for the government to introduce changes to the country’s gambling laws to extend the credit card ban to online gambling. Banking institutions are among those strongly supporting the measure and now they are urging the Albanese administration to implement it.
For ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh, it just doesn’t make sense that punters are barred from using credit cards at land-based gambling venues but are allowed to use them when placing bets on online platforms. Bligh made it clear that banks are not against online gambling. Their main concern is that the product “is not suitable for credit”, as it puts customers at risk of accruing massive debts in a short period of time.
As punters accumulate huge amounts of debt out of using credit cards when they gamble online, chances are, they’ll struggle to pay off those debts which in turn would impact the banks’ business operations.
The ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling is also something independent MP Rebekha Sharkie will be pushing for in a private member’s bill this week. Under her proposal, online gambling firms will be required to inform customers of their existing losses before allowing them to continue to gamble.
Crossbench MP Andrew Wilkie will also be putting forward a Bill that will make it mandatory for online gambling operators to report suspicious transactions to authorities.
Major Online Gambling Firms Support the Ban
Responsible Wagering Australia
, the independent peak body for licensed online wagering service providers in the country, previously announced plans to develop measures to ban credit card wagering. Its members include some of the largest online gambling firms in Australia, such as Entain, bet365, Betfair, Unibet, Pointsbet and Sportsbet.