Government must get tough on Online Gambling

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services is holding hearings on Friday 13 August 2021 into the use of credit cards to pay for online gambling.

Committee Chair, Andrew Wallace MP has expressed his concern about the “cost consequences” on families from allowing the use of credit cards and digital wallets to fund online gambling. These concerns are shared by many submissions to the committee. But there are other problems with online gambling and it could be impossible to regulate.

Digital fraud attempts in the gaming industry jumped 393% in the year ended June 2021 according to TransUnion’s latest quarterly analysis of global digital fraud trends. This compares with a rise of 16.5% across all industries.

Mastercard has confirmed it cannot ban gambling transactions on its cards and banks can’t ban gambling transactions without affecting lotteries and charitable donations. 

The Reserve Bank and the Australian Bankers Association say some digital wallets do not use traditional card or account based payment channels.

“There is only one way to effectively limit gambling expenditure and that is through the use of cash,”  said Jason Bryce, finance journalist and spokesperson for the CashWelcome.ORG campaign, a cash industry initiative.

“Physical cash provides limits and breaks in play and is the favourite budgeting tool of gamblers themselves so gambling should only be available in physical venues operated by licensed responsible operators where cash can be used.

“Online gaming happens largely in private, behind closed doors at home and makes harm minimisation difficult or impossible,” said Mr Bryce.

“There is no way to completely firewall online gambling accounts from all digital wallets and credit card accounts.”

“Perhaps of more concern is the growing prevalence of criminals in the online gambling industry with digital fraud attempts in this industry skyrocketing in the last year by almost 400%,” said Mr Bryce.

“Online gambling can’t be regulated and it can’t be effectively policed.

“It’s time for the committee to decide that online gambling is bringing little or no benefit to Australia and plenty of problems.

“Gamblers are better off using physical cash in public venues operated by responsible licensees.”

Jason Bryce

CashWelcome.ORG is a campaign giving a voice to the millions of Australians who trust and rely on cash, supported by the cash industry.

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