The federal government in Australia has tabled plans to introduce a bill prohibiting the use of credit cards and digital currencies for any online forms of gaming or wagering.
This proposal is aimed at protecting Australians who are vulnerable to problem gambling issues along with protecting families from further gambling harms.
A significant issue
This is an issue that is particularly prevalent in the Oceanic nation, with nearly 80 percent of Australians engaging in gambling of some kind and nearly 3 percent of the population experiencing some level of risk related to gambling.
Furthermore, according to the Institute of Health and Welfare, Australians lose an estimated $25 billion a year on legally perpetrated gambling activities alone.
The bill would see any operators that fail to comply face fines up to $234,750 for each offence, as well as granting ministers the authority to ban future introduction of credit-related products.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland had this to say on the matter:
“It’s as simple as this: People should not be betting with money they do not have. The Australian government remains committed to protecting Australians from gambling harms.”
The use of credit cards has already been enforced for land-based wagering which came in lieu of a parliamentary inquiry carried out in 2021. This yielded the recommendation of a credit card ban beginning the initial discussions about such a possibility stating:
“While the number of people suffering substantial harm from the use of credit to gamble online may be comparatively small, the consequences are significant and life-changing. Those harmful impacts can spill out onto family members and the broader community.”
Support for the bill
Responsible Wagering Australia has come out in support of this ban, which follows a sweeping line of new policies intended to reduce gambling harm by lowering overall losses incurred.
These policies have already included the introduction of monthly activity statements outlining wins and losses, as well as the national self-exclusion register, BetStop.
SiGMA Curaçao up next!
SiGMA Curaçao is happening in less than three weeks, from September 25th to 28th, hosted by the Ministry of Finance in partnership with SiGMA Curaçao. Join to gain insights into gambling regulations and the iGaming industry while connecting with key industry figures in the Dutch constituent.