The Australian Senate approved a bill this week banning the use of credit cards for online gambling throughout the country. Representatives in the Australian Congress have already approved the bill, insuring the bill’s progress into national law within months.
Under the terms of the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023, operators would be barred from accepting both credit cards and cryptocurrency at online casinos. Australia already has a ban on the use of credit cards at land-based casinos, thus the bill cements a complete ban on credit card gambling throughout the country.
The authors of the bill consulted with a range of stakeholders, including anti-gambling advocates and gambling operators to craft the legislation. That’s likely why the bill contains a six-month transition period for operators to implement the new policy.
But it turns out that not every form of gambling will be impacted by the credit ban; specifically keno and lotteries. This exception did not sit well with Responsible Wagering Australia CEO Kai Cantwell, who advocated for a full ban. “The latest Australian Gambling Statistics show that Australians lost most than $3.20bn on lotteries and keno in 2020-21,” Cantwell said. “With the introduction of online keno in Victoria, keno losses increased more than 400% from 2021-22 to 2022-23.
“Lotteries were also exempt from the National Self Exclusion Register, Betstop, meaning that Australians who have self-excluded from online gambling are not precluded from gambling up to $10,000 online at a time through lotteries,” he said in comments reported on by iGaming Business.
Cantwell says his group will continue advocating for a total credit ban, even after the new law is implemented.