“Customers who traditionally place cash bets in the supervised environment of a retail venue have opened online gambling accounts to continue enjoying a bet on races and sport,” Tabcorp said. “Some of these customers who have transition to online betting will not come back to place bets in retail venues.”
A recent survey by the Australian Gambling Research Centre found that before COVID-19, 62 per cent of participants’ gambling was conducted online which grew to 78 per cent during the
Tabcorp warned there would be unintended consequences on customers, the racing industry, and lottery and newsagents by using technology to ban credit purchases. It said the industry would need a year-long transition period would be required should it be implemented.
It argued lottery customers had a “very low incidence of problem gambling” and would be unnecessarily inconvenience by further restrictions or a ban.
“Over 40 per cent of lottery customers use credit cards for convenience and often purchase lottery products as a lifestyle choice in a bundle with other everyday lifestyle consumer products (i.e. a magazine, birthday card, milk etc),” it said.
Liberal MP Andrew Wallace has led the push for a ban on gamblers using credit cards online, telling parliament they faced high interest rates and a high chance of loss that was deeply problematic for families.
“I don’t mind so much if someone wants to gamble their own money away, provided they can feed their kids, put shoes on their feet, send them to school and pay their bills,” Mr Wallace said.
“The states and territories have all banned the use of credit cards from places like TABs, from poker machines, from casinos and RSLs et cetera. There’s one place you can still use your credit card to gamble, and that’s on the internet. We as the Commonwealth government control that space, and we need to do better than we are doing right now.”
Banks such as Citibank, Suncorp, and Macquarie have all made the decision to ban credit cards for gambling but the big four banks are still considering the proposition.