Although this news may surprise someone who doesn't follow the developments of the global online gambling scene, the public has been discussing this move with the Australian authorities for a long time. Yes, the decision to ban credit cards for depositing funds in online casinos has been adopted by the Australian Senate.
Connoisseurs of opportunities in this sector know that such a decision was also made in Great Britain in April 2020. Interestingly, this happened at the beginning of the COVID crisis when online casino use grew significantly.
Given these developments, it can be said that it is a trend, so it is legitimate to wonder which country will be the next to apply this rule. However, after doing detailed research, I believe these changes affecting the payment methods available at online casinos may not be that widespread.
Of course, there are some good and some bad sides to this move by the authorities in several countries.
Those who advocate such a decision often emphasize several reasons that favor it. Of course, the most important thing is that this reduces problem gambling. I cannot refute such claims because there are examples that will confirm that the inability to use credit cards has positively affected some users.
But to conclude, more statistical data and analysis are needed. Well, for example, in 2022, the number of problem gamblers decreased compared to 2020 but increased compared to predictions.
Another thing worth mentioning is the number of people using credit cards. We all know that it is not easy to get a credit card if you are not employed. On the other hand, many experts agree that young people are most prone to developing an addiction to online gambling. In other words, not being able to use credit cards doesn't affect their behavior too much.
Budget constraints are another argument in favor of banning credit cards for this activity. In theory, people would not spend money that is not theirs to begin with. They have borrowed money from financial institutions. But can't the same be said about using this payment method for other activities? Is it okay to spend significant money on your credit card for online shopping? Do you have any restrictions in these cases? The answer is, of course, no.
In my opinion, the most important thing is to increase the awareness of players that online gambling, just like traditional gambling, is a source of entertainment. Of course, fun should be a part of our lives, but as always, we should be responsible.
I have already shared some information in the form of statistics processed after introducing the UK credit card ban. No significant effects can be observed from them. But let's say it is still too early to draw conclusions and consider some issues that logically arise in connection with this decision.
For example, people determined to gamble online will almost certainly find a way around this ban. The public is already saying that the effect is small because users can access unlicensed or offshore casinos that do not follow these rules. As you probably know, the UK has so-called Non-GamStop casino sites.
Of course, there is also the possibility of using credit cards to transfer money to alternative forms of payment, such as vouchers or electronic wallets. Someone might say that this procedure is more complicated. Still, it is worth pointing out that it also carries unnecessary commissions that further burden the budget of the determined online gambler.
Undoubtedly, gambling on licensed offshore casino sites is allowed in most countries. But with such bans, it is possible to increase the interest in black market gambling, too. Such sites are taking advantage of the current situation by tightening the rules and constantly promoting new bans to profit. The unregulated market in which unlicensed (as well as unscrupulous) online casinos participate carries additional risks. Users of these platforms may face less protection of their rights. They can also fall victim to fraud more quickly.
I would also like to mention the perspective of the operators themselves. Of course, I'm talking about entirely legitimate online casinos and the companies behind them. We will all agree that such a ban usually harms their earnings. In theory, the more deposit (and payout) methods there are in a casino, the better. This is especially important for credit cards, which remain one of the most popular banking methods. The losses of these operators mean less money in the budget from taxes and even an increase in unemployment.
But let's ignore these real dangers as well. What about the possibility of switching to online casinos abroad? It wouldn't be the first time established casinos moved offshore activities. I'm talking about sites with thousands of registered and active players who won't care much about this seemingly technical change. With this, there is a danger of more difficult regulation and supervision of their work.
Given what I have shared in this opinion piece so far and my personal belief that alternatives to prohibitions of any kind should always be sought, I would like to propose different measures if the goal is to maintain financial stability.
I see online casinos with weak or non-existent player self-regulation tools in several cases. It would be good to give players (perhaps even specifically credit card players) the ability to set daily, weekly, and monthly limits in proportion to the funds available on their cards. Of course, there are also reality checks and other tools that should appear more often during gameplay.
Finally, we have educational and awareness campaigns related to the risks of problem gambling. Taking a more serious stance on these activities should show better results than simple bans. In the meantime, after some time, we can draw more detailed conclusions from the prohibitions already in place in the UK and Australia.
This article delivers the thoughts and opinions of the author, and it doesn't represent the stance of GoodLuckMate.