Australian House of Representatives Approves Credit Card Gambling Ban

by | Nov 16, 2023 | casino | 0 comments

The Australian House of Representatives, the lower house of the country’s parliament, has passed a bill that would ban the use of credit cards for online gambling. The bill is called “The Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023” and it was submitted for approval in September.

The bill would also ban the use of other credit-related products and digital currencies for gambling online in Australia. The bill did produce a significant debate in the Australian parliament, with members of the lower house introducing several amendments. Eventually the amendments were not approved, and the bill passed on November 14 after having received support from both major parties. The debate is not over yet, though, as the bill will move forward to the Australian Senate, the upper house of parliament.

More Measures Included

The bill does not only deal with the use of credit cards for gambling online, it also includes other important measures such as significant fines for casino operators that fail to properly enforce the ban. These fines can go all the way up to 234,750 Australian dollars, which would roughly convert into almost 150,000 U.S. dollars.

The bill would also give the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) new powers, including enforcing penalty provisions and issuing penalties for those that break the law. There will be a six-month transition period before the bill would come into full effect, enough time for operators, payment providers and players to adjust to the new rules.

Before submitting this bill to parliament the Australian government consulted with several stakeholders, including harm reduction advocates, online casino and sports betting operators and banking payment organizations.

In Line with Land-Based Gambling

The move would eventually lead to Australia’s online gambling sector getting in line with land-based operations, where gambling with credit cards is already banned. The debate regarding applying this rule to online gambling has been going on for several years.

In November 2021, recommendations to this effect were made by the parliamentary joint committee on corporations and financial services. Before that, in December 2019, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) held a consultation on the use of credit cards in gambling. Some banks decided to act before the government and put in place their own prohibition on using credit cards to gamble. Bank Australia for instance announced in October 2021 that all account holders would no longer be able to use its credit cards for gambling.

In the spring of 2020 such a ban was introduced in Great Britain, and that led to an increase in calls for the Australian government to settle the issue. Online casino and sports betting operators which are members of Responsible Wagering Australia, including Bet365, Betfair and Entain, expressed their support for such a ban.

Source: “Australia lower house passes credit card gambling ban bill“. iGaming Business. November 14, 2023.

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