New bill aims to ban credit card wagering in Australia
A newly introduced bill aims to ban the use of credit cards for gambling in Australia.
The bill aims to amend the country’s existing gambling regulations to prohibit the use of credit cards, both directly and through online wallets, for gambling in the online vertical. This would extend Australia’s ban on the use of credit cards for retail wagering machines, which was introduced to protect local gamblers from incurring credit card debt.
The proposal also aims to expand the regulatory enforcement powers of the country’s communications and media authority, the ACMA. Through the extension, the regulatory body would have an expanded ability to enforce both the new ban and any other pre-existing gambling regulation by issuing penalties to operators that fail to comply.
If the law passes, gambling operators across the country will be given a period of six months to adapt to the new regulations, following which non-compliance could result in either a criminal penalty worth up to 500 units or a civil penalty worth up to 750 units. With penalty units being valued at 275 Australian dollars at the time of writing, the new proposal’s penalties could cost up to 137 thousand and 206 thousand dollars respectively.
Furthermore, the bill also aims to extend the prohibition to various digital currencies, such as cryptocurrencies. As they can be easily obtained with credit cards and used for gambling, digital currencies could still enable players to experience the potential harms of gambling with credit cards, although in a relatively indirect manner.