Australia enforces credit card ban for online gambling

Operators could face six-figure fines for failing to implement new requirements as government continues to look over 31-point plan from last summer
The post Australia enforces credit card ban for online gambling first appeared on EGR Intel.  

Australian bettors are unable to use their credit card as a method for online wagering as of today, 11 June, following the conclusion of the six-month transition period Down Under.

The new measure, which forms part of an update to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, will “protect vulnerable Australians and their loved ones from gambling harms”, according to the country’s government.

Operators that fail to enforce the ban on credit cards, credit-related products and crypto could face fines of up to A$234,750 (£184,389).

The update to the gambling framework has also seen the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) given greater powers to ensure “strong and effective enforcement”.

Communications minister Michelle Rowland issued an update, praising the work the government has already conducted to reduce the risk of gambling harm.

“Australians should not be gambling with money they do not have,” she said.

“This ban builds on the significant progress to minimise gambling harm that the Albanese Government has made over the past two years, which is already benefiting thousands of vulnerable Australians.”

The news came six months after the Federal Parliament passed legislation to ban the use of credit cards as a payment method for online wagering in early December 2023.

It was also welcomed by Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), with the trade body claiming its members have been “strong supporters” of a credit card ban since 2021.

RWA CEO Kai Cantwell insisted the step was one that needed to be taken, explaining it will mean Australians are now better placed to gamble within their means.

“This is an important measure to protect customers, making it easier for people to stay in control of their own gambling behaviour,” he remarked. 

“It will complement the existing offering of safer gambling account management tools by RWA members.”

Despite lotteries and keno being exempt from the ban, Cantwell went on to hint that if the ban on credit cards is not implemented across every type of gambling, it could spark a decline in Australia’s channelisation rate.

“If consumer protection measures aren’t consistent across all forms of gambling, it will incentivise vulnerable Australians to move to less-regulated types of gambling, where they are more at risk of harm,” he claimed.

The Australian government said it was continuing to consider the 31-point plan to tackle gambling-related harms in the country that was released last summer, adding it would make announcements about its next steps “in due course”.

In the interim, the government pointed to the launch of the national self-exclusion register, BetStop, in April and plans to introduce new safer gambling messaging across the country.

 

The post Australia enforces credit card ban for online gambling first appeared on EGR Intel.

 

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