A ban on credit card gambling in Australia might be imminent, now that MP Andrew Wallace has secured the support of the big four in Australian banking.
MP Wallace Secured Support of the Big Four in Australian Banking
Queensland MP Andrew Wallace announced he had secured the support of the largest banks in Australia for his plan to ban gambling online on credit.
Meanwhile, the local gambling lobby insists there is no need for such harsh measures.
The Queensland MP has been pushing for a ban on credit gambling online since last month, but Australia’s local gambling body was not in favor of the change. Now, the Queensland MP says his plan has full support from Australia’s major banks.
Credit card gambling in casinos and gaming lounges, as well as withdrawals from nearby ATMs, is currently banned in Australia. However, no such restrictions apply to online wagering.
According to Wallace the high-interest rate and the high risk make gambling on credit very dangerous for many families.
“[The banks] would be very happy for the government to legislate, I’m getting some advice on what that legislative change might look like, and I’ll be taking that to my colleagues over the next couple of weeks.” the MP added.
Wallace had proposed banks create a voluntary code of conduct, and while some banks, including Suncorp and Macquarie, have already stopped credit wagering, the Nation’s biggest lenders claim their hands are tied.
Australian Banking Association States Measures Are Difficult to Implement
Such measures have proven difficult for banks to actually implement, according to the Australian Banking Association (ABA), and this is one of the reasons for the delay.
Mr Wallace has added the change is no longer a question of desire but rather of what the means of implementation are going to be.
In a meeting with the MP, representatives of the National Australian Bank (NAB), Westpac, Australia, and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), and the Commonwealth Bank, along with the ABA, all agreed on the need for change.
Lenders agreed customers should not be in a position where they can borrow money at a 22% interest rate and gamble with it and were all in “furious agreement” on the matter, according to the LNP representative for Fisher.
In a statement, the ANZ said it would support a legislative ban similar to the UK’s, where betting operators are not allowed to accept credit payments.
The other three banks emphasized they were able to place gambling blocks on credit cards upon request and would continue to work with the government on any changes.
Furthermore, The ABA also stated they would continue working with the state on possible legal changes.
The RWA Does Not Support Restriction of Credit Cards in Online Wagering
However, Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), the lobby in the representation of Ladbrokes, Bet365, Sportsbet, Neds, and other prominent companies, maintained the position that there is no evidence for concern.
Brent Jackson, RWA chief executive, said the organization did not support the restriction of credit cards in online gambling, and there was no reason to stop punters from going into debt when they bet.
“The only opposition we’ve seen to people using their credit card for online betting — or to buy scratchies at their local newsagent — is from people who have a moral opposition to gambling,” he said.
He added online gambling was safer than other forms as it was governed by strict legislation.
MP Wallace is prepared to fight online betting companies over the disagreement, but he is certain the change is a “no-brainer” as eight out of ten Australians are in favor. He expressed hope that gambling operators would do the responsible thing adding that people were still able to wager using their debit cards.