DOM 21 DE ABRIL DE 2024 - 06:11hs.
In the Senate

Australia approves credit card ban for online gambling

The Australian Senate has endorsed the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023, prohibiting credit card use for online gambling within six months. The legislation, building on the existing ban at land-based venues, covers credit products, digital currencies, and imposes fines of up to US$ 155,000 non-compliance.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) gains enhanced powers for enforcement. While welcomed by Responsible Wagering Australia, criticism arose for excluding lotteries and keno. Advocates call for a complete credit card ban across all forms of gambling, aligning with harm reduction measures.

This move follows recommendations from the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services and aligns with global trends, including Great Britain's credit card gambling ban. The legislation, addressing concerns about responsible gambling, resulted from extensive consultations with various stakeholders, marking a significant step in consumer protection in the Australian gambling landscape.

Australia’s House of Representatives passed the bill last month, allowing it to progress to the Senate. Today (6 December), the Senate also approved the legislation, clearing the way for it to pass into law.

The country already has a ban in place on gambling with credit cards at land-based venues. This means the bill effectively places a blanket ban on credit card gambling across Australia.

Aside from a ban on credit products, the bill features several other related measures. These include fines of up to AU$234,750 (US$155,000) for operators that do not enforce the ban.

The bill also grants new powers to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Such powers include enforcing new and existing penalty provisions and taking responsibility for issuing penalties to those breaching the ban.

However, the bill will not come into effect immediately. The Australia government previously said it would run a six-month transition period to allow operators, payment providers and consumers to move in line with the new rules. This period will begin once the bill receives royal assent.

Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) CEO Kai Cantwell said the credit card ban will make it “easier for people to stay in control” of their gambling behaviour.

However, Cantwell said it is “disappointing” that lotteries and keno were exempted from the ban, despite such content being “the most prevalent form of gambling in Australia” and the content that is “commonly accessed by people in low-socioeconomic communities.

He added: “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.”

Source: GMB / iGamingPub / iGB