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Calls for online gambling ban intensify

  • November 30 2021
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Calls for online gambling ban intensify

By Fergus Halliday
November 30 2021

A parliamentary committee has backed calls for a new ban on credit card gambling. 

online gambling ban

Calls for online gambling ban intensify

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  • November 30 2021
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A parliamentary committee has backed calls for a new ban on credit card gambling. 

online gambling ban

Consumer advocates have welcomed a recommendation by legislators that online gambling operators be prohibited from profiting from credit card-funded deposits.

Issued as part of an inquiry into the regulation of credit cards and digital wallets, the parliamentary joint committee on corporations and financial services called for a ban on gambling companies accepting credit card-funded betting that extended to cover e-wallets, buy now pay later, and vouchers.

The recommendation itself comes on the back of a joint submission to the committee prepared earlier this year by Financial Counselling Australia (FCA), Consumer Action Law Centre, and Financial Rights Legal Centre.

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FCA director of policy and campaigns Lauren Levin urged Parliament to make the next step: introducing legislation.

“Debt funded gambling is never okay. This is a sensible way to reduce some harm. We thank the committee, led by Andrew Wallace, for championing this cause,” she said.

Citing data indicating that Australia has the highest per capita gambling losses in the world, Ms Levin suggested that gambling has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic and that it remains a major cause of financial harm and hardship.

“In addition to losing savings and wages, most clients of financial counsellors have credit card debts and payday loans with crippling interest payments,” she said.

Financial Rights Legal Centre CEO Karen Cox said that consumer advocates have been working to prevent credit-funded gambling for many years but that now was a strong opportunity for action on the issue.

“Going into an election, we urge all parties to consider their commitments to reducing gambling harm,” she said.

Beyond advocates and activists within the financial counselling sector, both Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) and the Australian Banking Association have expressed support for the ban.

Australia’s peak body for gambling said that it would move to introduce a prohibition on credit card gambling in the digital gaming space earlier this year, with RWA CEO Brent Jackson saying that the organisation planned to work constructively with banks and payment processing partners as it looks to address the issue.

“Responsible Wagering Australia members acknowledge concerns expressed by policymakers and the community sector and will seek to develop measures which harmonise the online environment with gambling at clubs, pubs and casinos where credit card use is prohibited,” he said.

Calls for online gambling ban intensify
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About the author

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Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

About the author

author image
Fergus Halliday

Fergus is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He likes to write about money, markets, how innovation is changing the financial landscape and how younger consumers can achieve their goals in unpredictable times. 

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