September 11, 2023
The Australian government has set its sights on prohibiting credit card gambling. This could come into effect as soon as 2023, with the nation's lawmakers taking steps to limit the use of gambling credit cards to reduce the risk of problem gambling.
The move has been welcomed by most of the public, who have long called for better regulations to protect consumers. The government is confident that the new measures will help reduce gambling-related harm and enable a safer gambling environment.
Last week saw the Anthony Albanese administration's proactive stance on gambling regulation manifest in new bills presented to the Australian parliament. The government's most recent anti-gambling effort focuses on payments at regulated mobile casinos, mainly on credit cards and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, USDT, Ethereum, etc.
With the new regulations, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will get greater authority to implement the new requirements in the nation's gambling sector. The ACMA has suggested a civil penalty reaching AUD$234,750 (approximately €140,250) for operators who take credit cards like Visa and Mastercard or digital currency payments.
Michelle Rowland MP, the Minister for Communications, noted that people should not be gambling with funds they do not have. She reaffirmed the government's commitment to protect residents of Australia from gambling-related harm.
“Legislating a ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling will help to protect vulnerable Australians and their loved ones. I would like to thank the wide variety of stakeholders, including harm reduction advocates, wagering and lottery providers, and banking payment organizations, for their contributions to and support for this Bill.”
If the Bill sails through the Australian parliament, mobile casino operators in Australia will have a six-month window to adjust their payment options.
It is not unusual for specific gambling markets to prohibit the use of credit cards. At the same time, gambling using cryptocurrencies has become widespread even as governments have yet to regulate this payment medium fully.
In April 2020, the UK Gambling Commission announced a ban on credit card payments, with research still ongoing regarding the fate of cryptocurrencies. A statement from the regulator said credit card gambling may result in significant harm.
The current Labor government in Australia has prioritized protecting players, particularly the vulnerable, through 'future proofing' the country's gambling regulations. In June this year, a parliamentary committee led by Peta Murphy released an inquiry report recommending a total ban on gambling adverts within 3 years.
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