Submission to Environment and Communications Committee

Submission to Environment and Communications Committee

RWA has lodged its submission to the Senate Inquiry reviewing a Bill to amend the Interactive Gambling Act.

RWA remains committed to exploring options to advance research into the online wagering sector, including any relationship between payment methods and consumer behavioural outcomes, to provide an evidence-base for decisions by operators and policymakers.  RWA supports evidence-based measures to prevent gambling-related harm.  There is no compelling evidence to indicate links between the use of credit cards across online betting platforms and the incidence of problem gambling.

RWA outlined its summary position on the Bill:

  • There is no evidence of a policy failure with the extensive range of wagering regulations already enacted by Commonwealth, and state and territory legislation.
  • There is a lack of compelling evidence of a direct link between the use of credit cards for online betting transactions and the incidence of problem gambling in the Australian market.
  • Unlike all other consumer wagering payment options, credit card holders have been subject to credit and background checks completely independent of wagering service providers.
  • Australia’s major banks have consumer protections in place that provide specific tools for consumers to directly manage their credit card betting transactions.
  • Removing Australian consumers’ ability to use credit cards would provide a further competitive advantage to illegal overseas gambling websites that openly flout Australian law and offer high-risk online casinos and other products that are prohibited in Australia.
  • The National Consumer Protection Framework already provides very strong, nationally consistent safeguards specifically for consumers of Australian interactive wagering services.

RWA supports consumers’ rights to directly manage their gambling preferences, including self-exclusion and expenditure limits, on a real-time basis.

Consumers can choose to use credit cards to fund their online betting accounts, just as they can to buy scratchies or lotto tickets at one of 4,000 local newsagents or online using Australian lottery apps.  RWA is unaware of compelling evidence that shows that using a credit card for online wagering or at the newsagent to buy lotto tickets is any different to using any other form of payment from a responsible gambling outcomes perspective.

RWA’s submission can be viewed here.