- The Senate approved the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023 (Credit and Other Measures) on Dec. 6
- The Bill seeks to prohibit the use of credit cards and other credit-related products for online gambling
- Industry body RWA supports the measure but argues the ban should cover all forms of gambling
Australia has moved one step closer to implementing a ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling after the Senate this week granted its approval to the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023 (Credit and Other Measures).
The legislation will officially become law after receiving Royal Assent from the Governor-General. Once assented, the measures will be implemented within six months.
Australia Bans Credit Card Gambling
The Bill seeks to amend Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to outlaw the use of credit cards, digital currencies, and other credit-related products as payment methods for online gambling. The Bill also aims to create a new criminal offense and civil penalty provision concerning the ban.
The Bill was approved by Australia’s House of Representatives in November, after which it was forwarded to the Senate for further deliberations. The upper house passed the legislation on December 6. The use of credit cards for gambling at land-based venues is already prohibited in the country. The approval of the latest Bill means Australia is set to implement a near-absolute ban on credit card gambling across all six state territories.
The legislation has now been forwarded to the governor-general for royal assent. After the Bill receives assent, payment providers, operators, and customers, will be given six months to make adjustments and fully comply with the new rules.
The enforcement of the ban will be handled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) under new powers granted to the agency. Those found breaching the rules could face penalties of up to AU$234,750.
RWA Questions Exclusion of Lotteries, Keno from Credit Card Ban
Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), the independent peak body representing Australia’s online wagering industry, welcomed the Parliament’s approval of the Bill. However, the industry body is questioning why lotteries and keno have been excluded from the ban, considering that lotteries are the most common form of gambling in the country.
Making its argument, RWA cited the latest figures from the Australian Gambling Statistics which reveal that lotteries and keno accounted for $3.2 billion of the total gambling losses recorded by Australians in 2020-21. In Victoria in particular, keno losses have jumped by more than 400% since online keno was introduced in the state.
This isn’t the first time that lotteries have been exempted from certain gambling rules in the country. This form of gambling is also not covered by Australia’s national self-exclusion register Betstop.
RWA said consumer protection rules must be implemented across “all forms of gambling” to effectively combat gambling harm.