Australian gamblers will soon be banned from using credit cards for online betting. The government is looking to introduce new legislation in the upcoming months, which will bar this payment method.
In an announcement to be made on Friday, the communications minister, Michelle Rowland, and social services minister, Amanda Rishworth, look to bring online gambling into line with land-based gambling – which already limits the use of credit cards.
Rowland said: “People should not be betting with money they do not have.”
The government plans to use Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) (which are used to identify and block credit card payments) to bar credit card numbers from being used to deposit funds into betting accounts.
The ban will be enacted through amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, which the government says will be introduced later this year.
“Blocking BINs has been successfully deployed by Australian casinos and poker machine venues to stop credit card withdrawals from ATMs and was used in the United Kingdom to implement its credit card ban for online gambling,” Rowland and Rishworth said.
Responsible Wagering Australia said in a submission to the 2021 inquiry: “Approximately 20% of deposits into wagering accounts are transacted through credit cards." Tabcorp told the inquiry that in the 2021 financial year, its proportion of account deposits via credit card was 13.7%.
The CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Carol Bennett, said her group welcomed the change: “This is a significant measure in reducing harm from online gambling. We know many people experience high levels of gambling harm and those people are far more likely to use credit cards to obtain cash advances. This is money people can scarcely afford to use.”