Australia Bans Credit Card Use on Online Gambling
Last Updated: January 18, 2024
On December 6, 2023, the Australian Senate approved the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023. Once the bill comes into effect, Australian punters will no longer be able to use credit cards for online gambling.
The bill is an extension of the existing ban on using credit cards at land-based casinos. This means that Australia will have a blanket ban on credit card gambling.
So, what are the provisions of the Interactive Gambling Act Bill 2023?
Don’t break a sweat. Here, we’ll discuss the new legislation banning credit card online gambling in Australia and its effects.
What’s the Credit Card Bill?
The Credit Card Bill is a federal government legislation seeking to limit gamblers from using credit cards for online gambling. This initiative began in 2019 with the Australian Banking Association hosting a consultative discussion on credit card usage and gambling. The government will leverage Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) to identify and ban the use of credit cards as a payment method for online gambling.
In November 2021, the Parliamentary Joint Office on Corporations and Financial Services made some recommendations regarding credit card gambling. The Committee recommended the law change to prohibit credit cards as a payment method for gambling. This includes all other electronic payments that involve credit, such as Poli payments, e-wallets, and vouchers.
In September 2023, the bill was submitted to the lower house in Australia. After several significant debates, the parliament passed the bill on 14th November 2023, forwarding it to the Senate.
The Senate passed the credit bill into law on December 6, 2023, and it will become effective after six months. The potential effect of the Gambling Review Act includes player protection checks to promote responsible gambling.
Should Aussie Players Worry?
Aussie players need not worry about the credit card amendment bill—it only limits them from spending the money they don’t have. Online gambling sites in Australia will no longer offer credit cards as a payment method for gambling.
Is that the end of online gambling in Australia?
No. Aussie players will still engage in gambling as many operators offer a variety of payment methods, such as prepaid cards, virtual banks, and e-wallets. The only worry will be choosing online casinos that are licensed, legal, and promote responsible gambling in Australia. To help you with that, here are Australia’s top casino picks offering secure gaming environments, an extensive selection of games, and popular Australian payment options.
What are the Provisions of the Credit Bill 2023?
The Upper House in Australia passed the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023 to minimize gambling harm. The new legislation will restrict Australians from using credit cards, credit-related products, and digital currency when gambling online.
The government has given the gaming industry six months to transition and adopt the new normal. Any operator that will not enforce the ban on credit cards, credit-related products, and digital currency risks a penalty of up to AU$234,750.
The bill also gives the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) new powers. ACMA will be mandated to enforce the amended and existing provisions of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The authority will be responsible for penalizing operators who breach the ban.
Who is Excluded from the Credit Card Ban?
Kai Cantwell, the CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), welcomed the move to enact the credit card bill into law. RWA has been at the forefront of calling for the credit card ban to help punters control their gambling habits.
However, the exclusion of Keno and lotteries from the ban is a sabotage to the government’s plan to protect consumers from gambling problems. Approximately 76% of Aussie punters play the lottery, spending an average of $1.9 billion annually on lotto.
The latest Australian Gambling Statistics (2020-2021) indicate that Australians lost $3.2 billion on lotteries and Keno. Furthermore, the introduction of online Keno in Victoria fuelled Keno losses by more than 400% in 2022-23.
So, excluding lotteries and Keno from the ban means players can still use credit cards to gamble online. This will inflict more financial harm on lower-income consumers who are leading in playing lotto and Keno games.
Responsible Wagering Australia Calls for a Total Ban
As things stand, players can use credit cards on lotteries and Keno. This is pushing RWA to call for a blanket ban on credit cards across all forms of online gambling. If this fails to materialize, gambling harm may significantly increase as players hop to less regulated online gambling.
RWA has promised to engage in productive discussions with the key stakeholders to ensure a successful implementation of the credit card ban.
Australian Credit Card Ban Grows Louder
Gamblers in Australia will soon be barred from using credit cards for online gambling. This follows the Senate’s passing of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of 2023. Operators who breach this new rule will incur fines amounting to AU$234,750.