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RWA: Online gamers should not be stopped from going into debt

Brent Jackson, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia , defended Players' rights to use credit to gamble after Queensland MP Andrew Wallace , called do introductions prohibiting gambling on credit.

Online gambling is considered safer than casino betting

Jackson says there is no evidence that online gambling for credit is dangerous . There are a number of interventions that can be taken before a ban. Online casinos are safer because they follow strict regulations; monitor risky and unconventional behaviour and if necessary intervene in real time. Jackson said customers should be able to choose whether they use credit cards while gambling.

On the other hand, Andrew Wallace , the Queensland MP, says credit card interest rates are as high as 22%, Which can be dangerous. He believes that because credit card betting is not available on TAB, casino sites and pokies should meet the same criteria. The LNP member is demanding that Australian banks voluntarily ban credit card gambling, otherwise he will try to force a change.

Some banks already have restricted credit cards on betting apps, but the major banks have yet to do so. Players are not allowed to use credit cards at casinos and poker machine parlors and this has been the case for almost 20 years.

Online betting increased during pandemic

During the pandemic, online bettors saw their revenue soar. Sportsbet's profits skyrocketed 108 percent between April and June of last year during the COVID-19 lockout, doubling from $96 million to $191 million.

According to research conducted by the Australian Gambling Research Center in late 2019. One in three people in 2000 registered for new online betting accounts during the COVID-19 lockout.

The largest increase in new users is among 18-34 year olds and it was found that these customers were both betting and spending more.

Last year, during an Australian Banking Association session on whether banks should stop using credit cards online, it was noted that 81% Australians were in favour of a ban, with only 7 opposed.

Gamblers are described as "vulnerable customers" on the ABA's website, but the association decided against any restrictions to avoid any litigation with anti-competition laws.

Among the organisations backing the restrictions is the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which has said exemptions to the law can be applied if a significant positive impact on society is observed.

Former problem gambler, David McAnalen , said that he would bet on anything he could get his hands on, and no matter what the obstacle, he would always find a way to continue betting.

" If I were still an active gambler, when an opportunity came along in the online world, I would take it as well." he added.

McAnalen said his family was the reason he stopped after they told him he could no longer be a part of their lives if he continued swimming.

As a Relationship Counsellor in Queensland, she now helps other people with their demons and actively chooses not to gamble.

"I wake up in the morning and say, 'There are a lot of things I can do today, and one thing I don't want to do today is gamble ".

Science backs up claims that online gambling can be dangerous

Associate Professor at Monash University , Charles Livingstone He commented that there are currently no measures in place to make gambling safer for players. Professor Livingstone has been studying gambling behaviour for years and believes that online gambling could potentially be safer, but this is not necessarily the case at present.

According to a recent Oxford University study, gambling increases the risk of death and is linked to addictive behaviors and financial problems. Wallace's call for change and social responsibility of banks was born out of this research.

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