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Australia Prepares to Ban Use of Credit Cards for Online Gambling

Posted on May 5, 2023 | 6:34 am

The Australian government has announced that it intends to amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 in order to prevent users from depositing money with credit cards at online casinos.

The intention was announced by Michelle Rowland, the Communications Minister, along with Amanda Rishworth, the country’s Social Services Minister. The government’s aim is to basically bring online casinos in line with land-based casinos when it comes to regulations regarding the use of credit cards.

Land-based casinos in Australia have already limited the use of credit cards for the purchase of gambling chips, and some banks have limited such transactions by their own accord.

Bank Australia for instance, the tenth-largest company in the Australian mutual or cooperative banking sector, has banned all credit card transactions for gambling and gaming purposes since December 2020.

Moreover, The Australian Banking Association has released a report in 2020 regarding the use of credit cards for gambling transactions and the conclusions of that report supported prohibiting credit card-based gambling.

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Don’t Gamble with Money You Don’t Have

When announcing the government’s intention, Michelle Rowland, the Communications Minister, explained the reasoning behind the decision with a simple phrase: “People should not be betting with money they do not have.”

The government plans to use Bank Identification Numbers, which are used to identify and block credit card payments, to prevent credit card numbers from being used to deposit money into online casino or sportsbook accounts.

Ministers Rowland and Rishworth explained that the use of Bank Identification Numbers has been successful in Australian land-based casinos and poker machine venues and also reminded that the United Kingdom has been using the same system in order to ban the use of credit cards at online casinos.

Carol Bennett, the Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, expressed her support for the legislative change. “This is a significant measure in reducing harm from online gambling,” Carol Bennett said. “Many people experience high levels of gambling harm and those people are far more likely to use credit cards to obtain cash advances.”

Source“’More susceptible to higher losses’: Labor major online gambling crackdown to be legislated this year with credit card ban“Sky News Australia. April 30, 2023.

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