New ban to come into force within six months

Australian Senate approves ban on use of credit cards in online betting

Reading time 1:30 min

The Australian Federal Parliament has passed new legislation prohibiting the use of credit cards to fund online betting. The measure, supported by Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) and its members, aims to protect consumers and their families by facilitating control over gambling behavior.

Kai Cantwell

RWA CEO Kai Cantwell emphasized that the ban complements the safer gambling initiatives. “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, ” he said.

Despite support for the legislation, Cantwell expressed concern over the exclusion of lotteries and keno from the ban. “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,” he stated.

Additionally, lotteries were not included in the National Self Exclusion Register, Betstop, allowing Australians who have self-excluded from online gambling to still participate in lottery games, with the possibility of gambling up to $10,000 online at a time.

Statistics show that Australians lost over $3.2 billion in lotteries and keno between 2020 and 2021, and with the introduction of online keno in Victoria, losses increased by over 400% from 2021-22 to 2022-23.

RWA has been collaborating with the Australian federal government and financial services since 2021 to implement this credit card ban. The organization also participated in the GambleAware Week in October 2023, showcasing examples of responsible betting relationships and highlighting support services for those in need.

Furthermore, RWA pointed out the alarming number of offshore operators evading Australian laws, taxes, and customer protection methods. This new legislation arises amid ongoing challenges in Australia related to online betting services, affecting tax revenue and customer protection. Recently, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) issued a formal warning to Best Bookies Price Pty Ltd for operating an unlicensed betting service.

This measure represents a shake-up in the gambling sector in a week when 888 Holdings, owner of William Hill, received a formal acquisition offer.

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