Leading Australian online operators back credit card ban

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Members of Responsible Wagering Australia - which includes most of the country’s largest online betting operators such as bet365, Betfair, Entain and Sportsbet - have agreed to support a ban on the use of credit cards to gamble online in the country.

Brent Jackson, chief executive of RWA, announced the measure in his opening address to the country’s “Inquiry into Regulation of the use of financial services such as credit cards and digital wallets for online gambling in Australia”. The inquiry was set up to seek evidence on whether credit cards and digital wallets should continue to be permitted for online gambling.

“As a policy-based body we want to achieve the best outcome for consumer protection,” Jackson said. “We think that the best way of achieving this is by committing to transparent discussion and actively working with stakeholders to make sure we provide the best outcomes.

“Australia’s major online wagering operators will support development of measures to prohibit credit card wagering.”

Jackson added that RWA would work with banks to make this a reality.

“Responsible Wagering Australia members have agreed to develop a technical solution to deliver this reform in a timely fashion and will seek the assistance of banks and payment processing providers to ensure the change can be delivered without adverse unintended consequences,” he said.

“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.

“This measure will build on Australia’s strong consumer protection framework for online gambling.

“Responsible Wagering Australia members recognise and respect community views on this issue and will work constructively on delivering this reform.”

However, he noted that regulatory approval would be necessary to implement such a ban. 

The inquiry into the use of credit cards followed a consultation in late 2019 from the Australian Banking Association on the use of credit cards in gambling.

Last year, the consumer-owned Bank Australia announced that it would stop processing credit card payments for gambling.

Great Britain introduced a similar ban on the use of credit cards last year. That ban  also covers credit card gambling through e-wallets, while as the Gambling Commission reminded operators that they can only accept customer payments via e-wallets only if they prevent credit card use for gambling.

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