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Australian Government Enforces Credit Card Ban for Online Wagering

Posted on June 20, 2024 | 8:52 am
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The Albanese Government has implemented a significant measure to protect vulnerable Australians from gambling-related harms, officially banning the use of credit cards for online wagering. This move aligns online gambling regulations with those governing land-based gambling, where credit card use is already prohibited.

Legislation and Enforcement

The legislation amending the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 was introduced and passed by Parliament late last year. Following a six-month transition period, the ban is now fully enforced. Companies failing to comply with the ban on credit cards, credit-related products, and digital currencies may face fines of up to $234,750. The new laws expand the powers of the Australian Communications and Media Authority to ensure robust enforcement of both new and existing civil penalty provisions.

This ban highlights the Government’s dedication to creating a safer online gambling environment through a strong legislative framework and comprehensive consumer protections.

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Complementary Gambling Reforms

This measure complements other significant gambling reform initiatives already in place, including:

  • BetStop, the National Self-Exclusion Register: Over 22,000 Australians have self-excluded from online wagering and promotions as of April 2024.
  • Customer ID Pre-Verification: Mandatory for all new online wagering accounts to prevent underage gambling and enhance protections for BetStop registrants.
  • Gambling Content Classification: Introducing mandatory minimum classifications for gambling-like content in computer games starting September 2024.
  • Revised Advertising Taglines: Replacing the ‘Gamble Responsibly’ message with evidence-based taglines.
  • Consistent Staff Training: Nationally uniform training for staff in the gambling industry.
  • Monthly Activity Statements: Requiring online wagering companies to send customers statements detailing wins and losses.

The Government is also considering 31 recommendations from the recent House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs inquiry and will announce its next steps soon.

Government Commitment

Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, emphasized the importance of this ban:

“Australians should not be gambling with money they do not have. Last year, the Albanese Labor Government committed to banning credit cards for online wagering – and we’ve delivered. This ban builds on the significant progress to minimize gambling harm that the Albanese Government has made over the past two years, which is already benefiting thousands of vulnerable Australians. Our commitment to ensuring that gambling takes place within a robust legislative framework with strong consumer protections remains steadfast, and we will have more to announce in due course.”

Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, also highlighted the Government’s dedication: 

“Our Government takes seriously our responsibility to prevent and reduce harm from online wagering. Our ban on credit cards will help with this goal. You can’t use your credit card to place a bet for land-based gambling and now the same rules apply for online gambling. I am proud of the steps we have taken so far to protect vulnerable Australians but recognize there is still much to do – and we will keep working to create a safer environment for Australians at risk of gambling harm.”

Source“Credit cards now banned for online wagering”, the Ministers of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, June 11, 2024. 

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