Online punters will soon be able to top-up their accounts at select retailers.
A deal between payment solutions firm Emerchants and some of the largest online casinos and bookmakers servicing the Australian market aims to improve the experience of online punting, offering instant access to winnings and the ability to deposit directly into a betting account at a host of partnered retailers.
William Hill is among the first betting agencies to jump on board with the deal.
“William Hill customers can not only get instant access to their winnings but they can deposit directly into their accounts, making their experience even faster and easier,” spokesman James Burroughs told The Sydney Morning Herald. Bet365 has also signed up to the service.
While a number of major bookmakers already offer debit cards, this deal is said to improve account accessibility for punters.
Independently owned petrol stations, convenience stores and newsagents will offer the service, according to Emerchants. Woolworths and 7-Eleven were considering the proposal, but backed away from the deal following media scrutiny.
Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) director of policy and campaigns, Lauren Levin, said there are concerns bookmakers are pushing credit onto gamblers, and that the government was introducing legislation to ban sports betting companies from providing credit to gamblers.
“This [deal] shows that the industry is already setting up its Plan B for gamblers to access credit to gamble,” Ms Levin said.
However, Emerchants managing director, Tom Cregan, said the technology did not encourage gambling any more than a credit card did.
“The betting is already going to happen anyway. All it’s really doing is making it more convenient for the customer,” Mr Cregan said.
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