Ban on Using Credit Cards for Online Gambling Comes Into Effect in Australia

  • Credit cards and cryptocurrencies are no longer options for funding accounts
  • Lawmakers consulted with key stakeholders before introducing the new ban
  • Australians lose more per capita gambling than any other country in the world
Australians can no longer add money to their online gambling accounts using credit cards or cryptocurrencies. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

New changes

People in Australia can no longer use credit cards to add funds to their online gambling accounts. The new restriction came into place on Tuesday, following a similar measure already implemented for retail gambling.

Other payment options that are part of the ban include additional debt-accumulating products, loading e-wallets with a credit card, and cryptocurrencies.

a fine of up to AU$234,750 (US$154,897)

Any operators that do not adhere to the rules will face a fine of up to AU$234,750 (US$154,897) after a six-month transition period. People can still purchase lottery tickets online or play Keno with credit cards, however.

Protecting people

The Australian Communications and Media Authority also now has greater power to ensure that operators are falling in line and the right to issue harsher penalties if they are not.

Bans on credit card gambling are becoming popular across the world, including in the UK and Germany. Ban advocates argue that it means gamblers can’t fall directly into debt by using money that they don’t have.

Australian lawmakers decided on the ban after consulting with stakeholders like operators, banks, and harm reduction advocates.

Talking about the new restrictions, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said that it will help protect vulnerable people, adding that the government is committed to making more changes in the future to protect consumers. One other major restriction potentially on the way is a blanket ban on gambling ads.

A big area of concern

Responsible gambling is a hot topic among lawmakers in the country, with Australians losing more to gambling than any other country in the world. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that residents hand over roughly AU$25bn (US$16.5bn) annually to legal gambling operators.

the rolling out of a new self-exclusion scheme named BetStop

Other recent measures that came into place include the rolling out of a self-exclusion scheme named BetStop which has accrued 22,000 names since August and a requirement for all users of online gambling accounts to provide ID verification when creating a new account.

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