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Banning use of credit for online gambling welcomed
but more needs to be done to tackle Australia’s gambling epidemic.

28 Apr 2023

Government plans to ban the use of credit for online gambling are welcome and will make a real difference in reducing the level of gambling harm in Australia. Hopefully, these long-overdue changes will be the start of real gambling reform in Australia, the CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett says.

The Alliance has advocated for the ban on credit for online gambling arguing that existing laws to prohibit gambling on credit are a ‘Swiss cheese’ of loopholes and exceptions allowing too many Australians to drown in debt, often offered at very high interest rates.

Ms Bennett said, “this move is critical to protect people from falling into debt and we cannot leave it to industry to self-regulate when they are more interested in their profits than protecting people who are vulnerable to gambling harm,” Ms Bennett said.

Ms Bennett said online gambling using credit has been emerging as a major issue, particularly among young people who are aggressively targeted by online gambling companies and who are more likely to revert to credit to continue to gamble. Evidence shows young men (18-24) are the most prolific online gamblers and online is the fastest growing form of gambling in Australia.

“The government have, to their credit, responded to evidence from the parliamentary inquiry into online gambling that people continue to bet money they don’t have using credit cards” Ms Bennett said.

Ms Bennett said past efforts to prohibit gambling on credit have been inadequate and clumsy and have, in part, relied on the industry to self-regulate.

‘We look forward to working with the Federal Government to make this work to reduce the growing and unacceptably high levels of harm from online gambling in Australia.’

Carol Bennett is available for interview.

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

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