Australian Greens' Additional comments

Australian Greens' Additional Comments

1.1The Australian Greens are supportive of the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023.

1.2Gambling causes enormous harm to individuals, their families and communities. This is exacerbated by the accessibility and prevalence of online gambling. We support measures to prohibit interactive gambling service providers from accepting payments by credit, credit-related products and digital currencies and believe this is an important step towards minimising gambling harm.

1.3However, we share the concerns of the Alliance for Gambling Harm and Financial Counselling Australia about lotteries and keno being exempt from proposed reforms. While we acknowledge the findings of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services’ Inquiry into the regulation of the use of financial services such as credit cards and digital wallets for online gambling in Australia, we do not believe their assessment of lotteries being a relatively low-harm service to be representative of the sector today. In their submission, Financial Counselling Australia explains:

The lottery sector has morphed into a fast-paced, online digital lottery market. Not only can you now enter a lottery every single day of the week, but the newly licensed KenoGO has a draw every three minutes. You can pre-pay 50 games, and play multiple cards simultaneously, and multiple different games simultaneously. You can easily spend $2,000 or even $10,000 in a single spend, or $50,000 if you load your cart.[1]

1.4As a result of their accessibility, quickness and ability for large spends, these products have become increasingly concerning. In fact, in a recent survey of Financial Counsellors, 56% were ‘very concerned’ about lottery products, ranking them above casinos.[2]

1.5The harm caused by lotteries, both online and in person, was evidenced by the many harrowing stories shared by Financial Counselling Australia in its submission. For example, Mary, a single mother, accumulated $50,000 in lottery-acquired credit card debts. Or Jim, who used his son’s credit card for lottery purchases leading to a $30,000 debt and caused immense strain on his relationship with his son.[3]

1.6The Greens share the concerns of the Alliance for Gambling Reform and Financial Counselling Australia that exempting lottery products from the ban may lead to market distortion. While we acknowledge and appreciate that the committee recommends ‘that the Minister for Communications undertake a review over the next 12 months into the regulation of keno-type lotteries’, we do not believe this does enough to effectively minimise the harm caused by these products. We believe that all lottery products, not just keno-type lotteries, should be included in the ban on credit and that this should be implemented immediately to avoid unintended consequences.

1.7We also acknowledge concerns that including lotteries in the credit ban may impact lottery charities and smaller businesses. However, we support the view of the Alliance for Gambling Reform and believe ‘that people at-risk of experiencing harm should not have a protection taken away from them even if that money were to be going to a charitable cause.’[4]

1.8The Greens therefore call on the Government to remove the exemption of lotteries in the prohibition of interactive gambling service providers from accepting payments by credit, credit-related products and digital currencies.

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

Deputy Chair


[1]Financial Counselling Australia, Submission 11, p. 5.

[2]Financial Counselling Australia, Submission 11, p. 6.

[3]Financial Counselling Australia, Submission 11, p. 27.

[4]Alliance for Gambling Reform, Submission 2, p. 3.