A little over a year ago, the Australian Banking Association announced a consultation paper that dealt with the use of credit cards for gambling transactions. This consultation’s main goal was to get the community’s views on the role of banks and other related financial institutions in addressing the issue of problem gambling.
The findings of the consultation are finally here with us and it might not be good news for online casino gamblers in the country. In essence, there is a possibility that Australians may soon no longer be able to use credit cards to fund their accounts on various online gambling platforms.
Referred to as the Every Customer Counts report, the findings of the consultations are based on several consultative efforts. These include short-form web survey responses from a total of 813 people as well as 40 written submissions from government agencies, academics, gambling counselors, consumer protection advocates, and the gambling operators themselves.
According to most of the responses that are in the report, the prohibition of credit card gambling activities seems to be the best way forward for online gambling in Australia. The overarching view as depicted in the findings of the report is that credit card gambling’s risks significantly outweigh its benefits especially for people that are vulnerable to gambling-related harm.
Moreover, credit card gambling is already prohibited in land-based gaming venues which means that it would only be logical for online casinos to follow suit. Restricting players from using debit cards would be very helpful in keeping them safe by letting them spend only the money that they already have.
There also happened to be some arguments against the idea of banning credit card gambling. For instance, several responses pointed out that credit card restrictions would not necessarily fix issues pertaining to problem gambling which is more often than not multi-dimensional. Moreover, there are also concerns that such a ban would steer Australian gamblers who prefer using credit cards for online gambling to sites that are do not have local licenses from Australian regulators.
Well, as it stands, there is a lot that needs to be clarified before anything is done with regards to banning the use of credit cards for online gambling. According to the Australian Banking Association, the report only reflects the views of the people and consultants, not itself. The association intends to assess the findings of the report by itself and make appropriate decisions on what should be the next course of action.
Needless to say, this is a pretty big deal and lots of people are eagerly waiting for ABA’s input. Whatever decision it will make will have a huge impact on Australian online gambling going forward and this is why it needs to be really well-thought-out.