The Lottery Corporation has called for an exemption from looming gambling reform which seeks to prevent punters from gambling with credit cards due to the “low harm nature” of lotteries.
The $10 billion lotteries giant urged the Senate in a submission lodged on Tuesday to uphold recommendations to exempt lotteries from the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill and allow customers to continue buying scratchies with credit cards.
The Lottery Corporation is the only gambling group to lodge opposition to being included in the credit card ban, with former parent company Tabcorp, Sportsbet and gambling lobby group Responsible Wagering Australia all submitting support for the proposed amendment.
The federal government brought forward legislation to ban online betting companies from accepting credit cards following the recent parliamentary inquiry into online gambling harm which recommended a ban. Punters who visit casinos or use poker machines are already prevented from using a credit card to make a bet.
The Australian Banking Association said it welcomed the policy change to bring online gambling in line with in-venue gambling and said the onus should be on the wagering providers to implement the ban.
The government is still considering a swathe of other recommendations following the inquiry. These include banning inducements across the sector and the phased outlawing of online gambling advertisements, to the outrage of sporting, racing and media bodies.
The Lottery Corporation’s chief executive, Sue van der Merwe, said the credit card ban carve-out would prevent “negative impacts” on newsagents and other retailers, despite overwhelming support from anti-harm bodies including Financial Counselling Australia.
“The [inquiry] committee’s recommendations reflected the finding that lotteries have a lower harm profile and recommended that lotteries are exempt from a ban on online gambling service providers of wagering, gaming and other gambling services from accepting payment by credit cards, including via digital wallets,” said van der Merwe.