Australian gambling company Sportsbet has been leading the calls for credit cards to be banned for bettors to use while wagering online.
Over the past few years, the gambling industry has surged in popularity and it has become hugely profitable. As of 2021, the market was valued at just shy of $195 billion.
But in Australia, gambling has been a problem with bettors accruing bigger losses, and part of that has been down to the fact they have been using credit cards to fuel their sessions.
And Sportsbet intends to co-operate with Australian officials to ensure that credit card usage at gambling sites is clamped down.
A statement read: “We strongly support the Responsible Wagering Australia position that a credit card ban should be implemented in wagering, and that buy now pay later be treated as credit and similarly banned from gambling services.
“While BNPL may be suitable and low-risk in other sectors, we firmly believe that wagering via this payment method is high-risk and should be prohibited.”
Gambling with credit cards has always thrown up issues, and bettors can spiral down a hole where they end up racking up more dents, which in turn, can throw up more problems down the lines. Many of the leading sports betting sites in Australia, including bet365, have tried to tackle this by implementing safer practices, such as enabling players to set up deposit limits or impose a self-ban if they are worried their gambling is getting out of control. However, they may need to tighten up in other areas in the future.
Meanwhile, in their submission, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) recognizes that more needs to be done to limit the use of credit cards at gambling sites.
ABA’s CEO Anna Bligh said: “The Act could be amended to prevent registered online gambling companies from accepting payment by credit.
“This would establish a consistent policy approach to the use of credit gambling across all devices including in venues, on racetracks, and online.”
Moreover, Sportsbet is thought to be working on AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology to predict a customer’s daily deposits, and suggest they can reconsider their plans if they are spending too much on gambling.
While the likes of the UK have banned credit card usage for players wishing to make deposits and withdrawals at betting sites. It will therefore be fascinating to see what steps Australia and other countries take to keep players safe while they bet online. Only time will tell.