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Australia bans credit card gambling

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The ban on playing with digital currency, credit cards and other products related to credit has been officially implemented in Australia as of today (11th June).

Prior to this, Australian players could fund their gambling with a credit or similar product. The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023 (Credit and Other Measures), which was first introduced in September last year, banned this practice.

Late last year, the legislation amending the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 was approved by the parliament. The bill was passed by the Australian house of representative in November. It then moved to the Senate, which approved it a couple weeks later.

In Australia, the ban on credit cards applies to virtually all online gambling. The ban was in place for land-based gaming. The ban does not apply to certain games. Consumers can still use their credit cards for lotteries, keno, and other similar games.

A transitional period of six months was implemented to allow licensed operators time to adjust. This has now concluded, with those who breach the rules facing a fine of up to AU$234,750 (PS121,809/EUR144,025/US$154,978).

This bill grants the Australian Communications and Media Authority new powers. The bill also grants new powers to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Amanda Rishworth (Minister for Social Services) said, “Our Government takes our responsibility seriously to prevent and minimize harm caused by online gambling.” Our ban on credit card use will assist in achieving this goal. Credit cards cannot be used to make bets at land-based casinos. “Now the same rules are applicable to online gambling.”

The ban builds on existing measures in Australia to combat gambling harm

Australia’s gambling harm prevention efforts do not stop with the credit card ban.

BetStop is another initiative that was launched recently. More than 22,000 Australians self-excluded themselves from promotions and online betting since the register went live in August last year.

Pre-verification is also mandatory. Operators must verify the identity of customers when they open an account, and prior to betting. Customers must receive monthly statements detailing their winnings and losses from online operators.

Another step is to replace the Gamble Responsibly messaging on betting advertising with taglines based on evidence. The government also committed to providing staff with uniform training across the country.

From September onwards, there will be mandatory minimum classifications of gambling-like contents in computer games.

Rishworth stated that he was proud of all the efforts made to date in order to safeguard vulnerable Australians. We acknowledge that there is much more to be done – we’ll keep on working to make Australians who are at risk from gambling harm a safer place.

Michelle Rowland added that Australians shouldn’t gamble with money they don’t have. The Albanese Labour Government committed last year to ban credit cards from online gambling – we have delivered.

This ban is a continuation of the efforts made by the Albanese Government to reduce gambling harm over the last two years. It already benefits thousands of Australians who are vulnerable.

Our commitment to ensure that gambling occurs within a strong legislative framework, with strong protections for consumers remains unwavering. We will have further announcements in due time.

Exclusions continue to be criticized

The decision to ban certain forms of gambling has received some criticism, despite the fact that the overall reaction has been positive.

Responsible Wagering Australia, a prominent advocate of a ban on credit cards, has repeatedly called for this ban to cover all forms of gambling.

Kai Cantwell, CEO of RWA said: “This measure is important to protect our customers and make it easier to control their gambling behavior.” It will enhance the RWA member’s existing safer gambling account management tool.

The RWA and its member organizations support the expansion of the measure to include all gambling forms that were previously exempted, such as keno and lotteries.

If consumer protection is not consistent between all gambling forms, it may encourage vulnerable Australians into less regulated gambling where there are greater risks.

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