In early December 2023, the Australian Senate approved a bill prohibiting the use of credit cards on online gambling sites. The law is set to come into effect sometime during 2024, completely prohibiting the use of credit cards for gambling of any form.
The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of 2024
The bill was first introduced in September 2023 with the intention of limiting all credit-related products. It was passed by the House of Representatives in November and finally approved by the Senate on December 6, 2023.
Essentially, Australian players will no longer be able to gamble on credit. This was already true for Australia's land-based casinos, so the new law is not exactly surprising.
The bill itself also describes harsh penalties for Australia-licensed operators who do not enforce the ban. It grants new powers to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), such as extended penalties for any operators in breach of AU regulations. As per official statements, operators will have at least 6 months to transition into the new circumstances.
Issues and Concerns Surrounding the Bill
Most responsible gaming organizations praised the new law as sorely needed. It won't affect payment options for too many Aussies thanks to the widely-accepted notion that getting into debt to gamble is a horrible idea.
However, it seems that certain forms of gambling are specifically excluded. For instance, lotteries and keno are apparently still fair game for credit payments despite being massively popular in the country.
Moreover, many observers are concerned that gamblers will simply move to off-shore casinos that are outside the Australian government's reach. This has led to several figures in the industry calling for a blanket ban on all credit card payments to any companies registered as gambling firms. Moreover, modern payment options such as digital cryptocurrencies can offer yet another avenue for vulnerable persons to be exploited.