Australia’s Federal Parliament is proposing a change to the gambling legislation prohibiting internet gamblers from using credit cards or “digital wallets”
According to Tabcorp, a prohibition on credit cards for online gambling in Australia will not be opposed as long as clients can still buy lottery tickets at stores and newsagents. The firm noted that as a result of the rapid shift to online betting during the epidemic, the federal government must step up its protection of vulnerable Australians.
A single national gambling regulator was proposed by Tabcorp as a way for the Commonwealth to take responsibility for gambling regulations.
The ASX-listed wagering, media, and lottery company claims that the rapid shift to online betting during the pandemic lockdowns has necessitated significantly more federal government action in order to safeguard vulnerable Australians.
Tabcorp said “Customers who traditionally place cash bets in the supervised environment of a retail venue have opened online gambling accounts to continue enjoying a bet on races and sport. Some of these customers who have transitioned to online betting will not come back to place bets in retail venues.”
It also argues that lottery customers had a “very low incidence of problem gambling” and would be unnecessarily inconvenienced by further restrictions or a ban. Over 40 percent of lottery customers use credit cards for convenience and often purchase lottery products as a lifestyle choice in a bundle with other everyday lifestyle consumer products (i.e. a magazine, birthday card, milk, etc).”
As a result, Responsible Wagering Australia, the peak body representing foreign-owned bookmakers such as bet365 and Betfair and Ladbrokes and Sportsbet, opposed the ban, stating that there is no compelling evidence that indicates a direct link between using credit cards on online betting platforms and the incidence of problem gambling.
A year would be needed for the industry to adjust, the firm claimed. Tabcorp has been losing ground to online competition, and the company cautioned that this might have unexpected effects. Online gambling rules would be brought up to par with those governing casino gambling as well as TAB stores and gaming lounges. ATM cash advances would also be prohibited.
This would bring online gambling regulations closer to those that apply to traditional casinos and comparable venues. This decision has brought the Australian Parliament to contemplate a ban on credit cards or digital wallets for online gambling. According to reports, the number of online gamblers has risen from 62% to 78%, mostly because of the ongoing pandemic.
In 2019, an organisation started a public consultation on the issue of using credit cards for online gambling. According to Queensland MP Andrew Wallace, Australia’s four largest banks have started supporting proposals to restrict credit card spending on internet gambling in March of this year. In fact, several banks have already implemented a restriction on the use of credit cards.
Wallace stated, “I don’t mind so much if someone wants to gamble their own money away, provided they can feed their kids, put shoes on their feet, send them to school, and pay their bills.”
“The states and territories have all banned the use of credit cards from places like TABs, from poker machines, from casinos and RSLs, etc. There’s one place you can still use your credit card to gamble, and that’s on the internet. We as the Commonwealth government control that space, and we need to do better than we are doing right now.”
It also claims that the rapid shift to online betting during the epidemic has necessitated significantly more federal government action in order to safeguard vulnerable Australians. The firm is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
Before COVID-19, 62% of participants gambled online, but that number has reportedly risen to 78%.
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