Time's up: Using credit cards for online gambling all but banned

Time's up: Using credit cards for online gambling all but banned
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On Thursday a Parliamentary Joint Committee recommended legislation banning credit card use for online gambling, a move welcomed by consumer groups.

The ban on using credit cards also encompasses e-wallets, buy now pay later services and vouchers, extending to sports betting apps, online poker and other games.

The Committee on Corporations and Financial Services' inquiry began in March, and in August various online bookmakers pledged to ban credit cards on their platforms.

Responsible Wagering Australia - of which members include Bet365, Ladbrokes and Sportsbet among others - has supported the move.

So too has the Australian Banking Association, comprising of 22 member banks.

Financial Counselling Australia director of policy and campaigns, Lauren Levin, said this was a sensible move.

"Debt funded gambling is never okay...The next step is for the Parliament to introduce legislation. We urge the government and all MPs to make this a priority," Ms Levin said.

Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Gerard Brody said this was common sense because credit card use at in-person casinos had been banned for years.

"The fact that it was still happening online was a loophole in the legislation," Mr Brody said.

Australians are the greatest per capita gambling losers in the world, and according to the joint illion-Accenture spending tracker, the gambling index increased from 100 in January 2020 to 384 in November 2021.

"Consumer advocates have been working to prevent credit funded gambling online for many years. Going into an election, we urge all parties to consider their commitments to reducing gambling harm," Ms Cox said.

Photo by Adrien Robert on Unsplash