Online Credit Card Ban Passes in Australian Senate
The landscape of funding online gambling accounts in Australia is about to change forever. On Wednesday, a ban on credit cards and digital payment options was passed in the Australian Senate. Under the new law, most forms of online gambling will be prohibited from accepting credit cards or digital currencies for payment.
The ban will take around six months to go into effect. Lotteries and keno games are exempted from the ban in a move that some call disappointing. In the meantime, learning about the available payment alternatives is in order, and sites like Australia Online Casino Sites have your back in that matter.
Senate Passes Bill Banning Credit Cards and Crypto
Back in September, the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023 was introduced. The bill called for a ban on the use of credit cards and digital payments for online gambling.
The bill passed the House of Representatives in November, and on 6 December, the Australian Senate also passed the measure. Under the bill, online gambling companies in Australia will be prohibited from accepting credit cards or credit-style payments for gambling deposits. This also includes digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
Operators that fail to enforce the ban will be subject to fines of up to $234,750. However, the ban does not go into effect right away. After the bill receives Royal Assent, operators will have a six-month transition period to come into compliance. If operators are not in compliance by the end of the transition period, penalties will begin.
Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) CEO Kai Cantwell spoke on the passage, stating, “This is an important measure to protect customers and their loved ones, making it easier for people to stay in control of their own gambling behavior. It will complement the existing offer of safer gambling account management tools by RWA members to customers to help stay in control of their betting.”
Lotteries and Keno Games Exempted
There are two exemptions for the credit ban. Lotteries and keno games are exempt from the ban, meaning players can still use credit cards and crypto to fund those games. It is unclear how much that lobbying pressure played into the exemption.
However, opposition to the move was swift. While speaking positively on the credit card ban, Cantwell did speak out on the exemptions, stating, “It is disappointing to see that lotteries and keno (a form of lottery played in casinos) have been exempted from the ban, especially when lotteries are the most prevalent gambling in Australia and are commonly accessed by people in low socio-economic communities.”
“The latest Australian Gambling Statistics show that Australians lost more than $3.2 billion on lotteries and keno in 2020 and 2021. With the introduction of online keno in Victoria, keno losses increased more than 400% from 2021-22 and 2022-23.”
RWA to Continue Push for Total Ban
Not surprisingly, the RWA will continue to push for a total ban on credit card and crypto gambling in Australia. According to Cantwell, “To effectively reduce gambling harm, consumer protection measures must exist across all forms of gambling, otherwise those at risk of harm will just move from one form of gambling to another less regulated type.”
“RWA members have been working with the federal government and the financial services industry to deliver this credit card ban since 2021. We will continue to engage productively to ensure the ban can be implemented effectively within six months.”
Credit cards are already banned in live casinos and pubs throughout Australia. This ban looks to synch online and brick-and-mortar gambling. Of course, this ban has little impact on offshore casinos as the government has few legal methods of punishing offshore casinos.
For those of you that currently use credit cards to gamble online at Aussie sportsbooks or other iGaming sites, you will need to find an alternative. Prepaid vouchers like Neosurf allow easy funding of online accounts. You can also opt for e-wallets like eZeeWallet. Now is the time to start looking for alternatives, as companies will move quickly to fall into compliance.