3 May 2023
Australia Takes Strong Stand Against Gambling Harms with Ban on Credit Card Use for Online Betting
The Australian federal government has taken steps to protect vulnerable consumers from gambling harms by announcing new legislation that bans the use of credit cards for online betting. This move aims to treat online gambling in the same way as land-based gambling by prohibiting online gambling companies from accepting credit cards for online wagering.
As per The Adviser, the new legislation will revise the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to cover all online betting activities, with the exception of lottery, which is considered low-risk in terms of gambling harm. The implementation of this ban is a commendable measure taken to alleviate the issue of gambling harm, which is a pressing concern in Australia.
The Australian government’s move to ban the use of credit cards for online betting has received support from key ministers. Michelle Rowland MP, the Minister for Communications, has emphasized the importance of the ban in protecting vulnerable Australians, given the high level of adult gambling losses in the country. Meanwhile, Amanda Rishworth, the Minister for Social Services, has lauded the move as a positive step towards reducing harm caused by problem online wagering, noting that the ban would align online wagering with land-based gambling practices.
The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has also expressed support for the proposal, with its recent survey finding that 81 percent of Australians support the ban on gambling with credit cards. ABA chief executive Anna Bligh has praised the federal government’s announcement, stating that the online gambling credit card ban will help people experiencing gambling harm to keep control of their finances.
Overall, the ban on credit card use for online gambling in Australia is seen as a necessary step towards reducing the harm caused by problem gambling, with many Australians supporting the move. The government is also seeking agreement from states and territories about the minimum ban requirements and empowering The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to enforce the ban. The House of Representatives standing committee on social policy and legal affairs is conducting a comprehensive study on the influence of online gambling and the scope of harm caused by it, in order to make informed suggestions for potential government actions in the future.