The Australian Federal Parliament has passed legislation that bans the use of credit cards to finance online betting. This move has been celebrated by Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) and its members, as they have been ‘strong supporters’ of the measure. This move comes as a shake-up to the gambling sector in a week which also saw William Hill owner 888 Holdings receive a formal takeover bid.
CEO of RWA, Kai Cantwell, said in a press release: “This is an important measure to protect customers and their loved ones, making it easier for people to stay in control of their own gambling behavior. It will complement the existing offer of safer gambling account management tools by RWA members to customers to help stay in control of their betting.”
Despite widespread support for this legislation being passed, Cantwell did highlight limitations to the move on limiting betting in Australia:
“It is disappointing to see that lotteries and keno (a form of lottery played in casinos) have been exempted from the ban, especially when lotteries are the most prevalent gambling in Australia and are commonly accessed by people in low socio-economic communities.”
“The latest Australian Gambling Statistics show that Australians lost more than $3.2 billion on lotteries and keno in 2020 and 2021. With the introduction of online keno in Victoria, keno losses increased more than 400% from 2021-22 and 2022-23.”
Australian trouble with betting licenses
RWA has been actively cooperating with the Australian Federal Government and financial services since 2021 to bring this credit card ban to life.
In October 2023, RWA took part in GambleAware Week, which showcased examples of a responsible relationship with betting and highlighted support services for those in need. RWA also pointed out the alarming number of offshore operators – who are evading Australian laws, taxes, and customer protection methods.
This new legislation comes amidst continued challenges in Australia regarding online betting services that have impacted tax revenue and customer protection. Recently, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) recently gave Best Bookies Price Pty Ltd a formal warning for operating a betting service without a license.
Featured Image Credit: From the Australian gov site; gov.au; Thank you!