Australia is set to prohibit the use of credit cards for online gambling.
The Australian federal government has recently proposed a bill, known as the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023, which aims to prohibit the utilization of credit cards for online gambling. This legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to safeguard vulnerable Australians and their families from the negative consequences associated with problem gambling.
The proposed bill will render the utilization of credit cards and digital currencies for online wagering unlawful. Companies that fail to comply with the ban may face fines of up to AU$234,750 ($150,593/€140,255). Additionally, the legislation grants the government authority to prohibit any forthcoming credit-related products that are not explicitly mentioned in the current bill.
Online gambling companies and customers will have a six-month transition period starting from the date of Royal Assent to adjust their business models and betting practices accordingly.
Alongside the credit card prohibition, the Government will implement mandatory customer pre-verification. This means that all betting operators must verify a customer’s identity during the registration process and before placing a bet. The enforcement of this requirement is scheduled to take effect by the end of this month.
In a press release, the Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP, expressed her views on the Bill by stating:
“It’s as simple as this: people should not be betting with money they do not have. The Australian Government remains committed to protecting Australians from gambling harms. Legislating a ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling will help to protect vulnerable Australians and their loved ones.”
The proposed ban on credit cards for online gambling products and services follows a parliamentary inquiry conducted two years ago, which recommended the prohibition.