Gamblers will no longer be able to use credit cards to punt online under a forthcoming ban that anti-gambling advocates say must be the first step in a broader crackdown on the industry. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
The Albanese Government will this year introduce legislation to implement the credit card ban, bringing online gambling companies such as Sportsbet in line with state bans already in place for casinos and other offline gambling venues.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland, who will jointly announce the ban with Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth today, said the measure delivered on the simple principle that “people should not be betting with money they do not have”.
Alliance for Gambling Reform chief executive Carol Bennett said the ban would make a huge difference for gamblers struggling with addiction, but it was a long-overdue reform advocates had been urging action on for years.
Ms Bennett said the Government had “no alternative” but to take further steps in regulating the industry to seriously tackle addiction and harm after a parliamentary inquiry into online gambling, which will hand its recommendations to the government later this year.
Australian Banking Association chief executive Anna Bligh told the inquiry it was an “absolute absurdity” that credit cards could still be used for virtual gambling, noting that state and territory governments banned their use in hotels, clubs, casinos and TABs in the early 2000s.
The ban – which is backed by the wagering industry and the banking sector – was a recommendation of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services in November 2021, and will involve using Bank Identification Numbers to identify and block credit card payments.
Closure for ‘absurd’ loophole allowing online gambling with credit cards (By Lisa Visentin, Sydney Morning Herald)