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Senate Committee Says Online Lottery and Keno Products Should Not Be Exempt from Credit Card Ban in Australia

Punters will still be given the opportunity to use their credit cards to purchase lottery tickets, although some anti-gambling organisations seeking a gambling sector overhaul have strongly objected to that.

As previously reported by Casino Guardian, credit cards are set to be suspended for wagering online. However, a parliamentary report has made a recommendation that an exemption for lottery games should be made, citing the relatively lower harm that is normally associated with lotteries and Keno games.

A Senate committee was exploring whether local lawmakers should include other harmful interactive betting services in the proposed ban and decided to keep reviewing the proposition in 2024, too. According to some specialists, anti-gambling organisations that have been insisting on the reforms would not be glad to hear that because they have been trying to reconcile with authorities and convince them that customers should not be given the chance to bet with money they do not actually own.

One of the organisations that have been really proactive as far as the planned changes are concerned, the Alliance for Gambling Reform, argued that the negative effects of online Keno and lottery products were being downplayed. The group also noted that the products were also exempt from the new self-exclusion register.

Campaigners have been frustrated by the fact that some lottery apps allow their users to easily spend thousands of dollars immediately, while online Keno games usually as a maximum spending limit of AU$1,000 every three minutes. As a result, the Alliance for Gambling Reform has become increasingly concerned about online lottery and Keno products and their growing popularity among local consumers.

Credit Card Ban Will Probably Have Unintended Market Effects, Committee Says

Financial Counselling Australia sided with the Alliance for Gambling Reform after agreeing that exempting lottery games from the credit card ban is likely to have some unintended consequences. According to the Committee, which is currently chaired by Senator Karen Grogan, such an exemption would be a mistake as it could lead to market distortions, not to mention that lottery harms were considered to be low enough to justify their exemption.

Furthermore, Financial Counselling Australia pointed out that lotteries, primarily the ones allowing the use of credit cards, were often used by not-for-profit organisations and charities, along with community groups to raise funds. In this sense, lotteries’ role in such organisations’ fundraising efforts is greatly appreciated and should not be jeopardised. That is exactly why the Committee made a recommendation to the Communications Minister to examine the impact of the proposed amendments and how local lawmakers might apply a similar approach to keno-type lotteries without causing some unintended outcomes.

Sarah Hanson-Young, a Senator from the Greens Party, commented on the issue, saying that the aforementioned lottery review across the year 2024 was simply not enough to ensure the best protection for vulnerable people or people at risk. According to her, all kinds of lottery products, and not just Keno-type lotteries, should be included in the proposed credit card ban. She also recommended that the competent authorities should immediately implement the chance to avoid any unintended consequences.

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.

Daniel Williams

Author: Jerry Lewis