Ban on Credit Card Use for Online Gambling in Australia
Credit cards have been prohibited for use in online gambling activities in Australia as a decisive action to address related issues. This new legislation marks a pivotal moment in the country’s ongoing efforts to regulate the online gambling industry and protect consumers from the potential harms associated with excessive gambling.
Under these strict regulations, both individuals and companies in the online gambling sector will face substantial penalties for non-compliance, signalling the government’s commitment to creating a safer and more responsible gambling environment for all Australians
Gamblers Banned from the Use of Credit Cards
Australia stands on the precipice of a profound transformation in its online gambling landscape, as the federal government prepares to introduce legislation that will unequivocally ban the using of credit cards for payments. This imminent shift is a direct response to recommendations stemming from a 2021 parliamentary inquiry, underscoring the compelling necessity for such a prohibition. At the heart of this measure lies the objective to curtail a practice responsible for funneling roughly 20% of all deposits into online wagering accounts.
Minister Michelle Rowland, responsible for Communications, has delivered a resounding message on the paramount importance of responsible gambling, emphatically stating, “Individuals must refrain from betting with funds they do not possess.”
The eagerly awaited joint announcement, set for release in the near future, will see Minister Rowland collaborate with Amanda Rishworth, the Minister for Social Services. Their shared goal is to align online gambling regulations with those governing “land-based gambling.” It’s worth noting that using credit cards for wagering has long been restricted in land-based settings. This strategic manoeuvre reflects a concerted effort to cultivate a uniform and responsible gambling environment that encompasses both online and land-based platforms.
Ban on Credit Card Use for Online Gambling to Rely on Bank Identification Numbers
In a bid to enforce the ban on credit card use for online gambling in Australia, the government is poised to employ Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) as a technical mechanism.
This decision comes after consultations with key stakeholders and mirrors practices already in use by Australian casinos and poker machine venues. The primary objective of this approach is to prevent credit card numbers from being utilized for depositing funds into betting accounts.
The concept of blocking BINs has proven successful in Australia, particularly in halting credit card withdrawals from ATMs. It’s worth noting that a similar strategy was employed in the United Kingdom to carry out its credit card ban for online gambling.
To bring this initiative to fruition, the government plans to enact amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, with the introduction of these amendments slated for later in the year.
As part of this legislative overhaul, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is poised to receive enhanced enforcement powers, ensuring strict adherence to the ban and bolstering efforts to create a safer gambling environment in the country.
Parliamentary Inquiries Shape Australia’s Approach to Online Gambling
As Australia takes significant steps to mitigate the harm associated with online gambling, Amanda Rishworth highlights the dynamic nature of these efforts. “Minimizing this harm is not a set-and-forget exercise. Bringing online wagering into line with land-based gambling, where credit cards cannot be used, is another positive step,” she emphasized.
Currently, a parliamentary committee specializing in social policy is investigating online gambling, and its findings will serve as valuable recommendations guiding the government’s future actions in this realm.
This follows a separate parliamentary inquiry during the previous Coalition government, chaired by Liberal MP Andrew Wallace in 2021. Their recommendations urged the government to “ban online gambling service providers of wagering, gaming, and other gambling services (but not lotteries) from accepting payment by credit cards, including via digital wallets.”
Notably, the proposed Labor ban would exempt lotteries, even those operated by charities, as they are perceived to present a lower risk of contributing to gambling-related harm.
Australia’s ban on credit card use in online gambling marks a significant step towards a safer gaming environment, reflecting the government’s commitment to consumer protection. With the support of Bank Identification Numbers (BINs), this regulation aligns online gambling with its land-based counterpart.
Anticipated amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 will equip the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) with enhanced enforcement capabilities, ensuring strict compliance.
Parliamentary inquiries continue to shape Australia’s evolving approach to online gambling, with a previous recommendation by Liberal MP Andrew Wallace advocating the ban on credit card payments for online gambling services, excluding lower-risk lotteries. Australia maintains a proactive stance in promoting harm reduction and responsible gaming practices within the online gambling landscape.Top of Form