Australian Parliament Officially Releases Bill to Ban Credit Cards

It has been known for a while that the Australian government is looking to ban credit card usage for online gambling. Now, there is a definitive plan in place to accomplish this goal. On 13 September, The Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023 was officially tabled.

This bill will ban credit card usage by licensed online gambling sites in Australia. Furthermore, it will ban the use of any digital credit-related products. The bill will also take the bold step of banning digital currencies, something that could have a greater future impact on the industry.

Parliament Introduces Bill to Ban Credit Cards

Australian Government logo

Back in September 2021, a Parliamentary Joint Committee recommended banning credit cards for online gambling. The ban has been two years in the making, but we now know the intended path for the ban.

On 13 September, Parliament began considering The Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023. The bill intends to overhaul the payment options allowed at Australian online casinos. The first and most obvious ban will be on the usage of credit cards.

Next, the bill will ban any form of credit-related product. Communications Minister Michelle Rowland spoke on the bill, stating that “people should not be betting with money they don’t have.” She says the bill will “protect vulnerable Australians” from problem gambling harm.

The bill will also ban all credit-related products, such as Buy Now Pay Later or any product that loans money to Aussies. Often, these programs can be worse than credit cards with higher than average interest rates.

Furthermore, the legislation gives power to regulate any new payment option that may not clearly fall under the guidelines being established. This helps to futureproof the legislation.

However, the part of the ban that is currently getting the least attention is the ban on digital currencies. Most online casinos now accept one or more forms of digital currency. Cryptocurrency is the most commonly accepted form of digital currency by online casinos. If passed, online casinos in Australia may have to stop accepting crypto.

Stiff Penalties to Those Not Complying

The new bill will come with stiff penalties for anyone who fails to comply. Under the bill, any company failing to comply will face penalties worth up to $234,750 for each offence. According to Amanda Rishworth, Minister for Social Services, “We’re serious about protecting vulnerable Australians from the harm we know online gambling can cause. Any platform breaching the new rules will face penalties.

Once the bill passes and is enacted, Australian gambling sites will have a six-month period to enact the new regulations. This should give casinos plenty of time to come up with other payment options. Knowing that this ban is coming, it is likely that many gambling sites are already looking at options for future implementation.

How Will This Change the Future of Online Gambling?

The future of online gambling will be very different for licensed Australian gambling sites and overseas sites that opt to comply. Direct payment options, like cash vouchers and Neosurf, will become more popular. Also, depositing at some sites will become more complex, especially for those relying heavily on credit cards and cryptocurrency.

We will not be surprised to see a rise in third-party payment processors that serve as deposit intermediaries. These types of companies accept payments from credit cards for “products and services” and convert those payments to cash for use at online casinos.

Ultimately, we will see some offshore casinos likely shut down services to Australia to comply with the new law. Deposit options are already limited, and the potential elimination of cryptocurrencies will be a deal-breaker for some casinos. While online gambling in Australia will undoubtedly be safer, it will become much more challenging for those who play responsibly.

Rose Varrelli avatar
Rose Varrelli
Senior Casino & News Writer

Hi there! I’m Rose, and with nine years behind me in the iGaming industry, I craft engaging narratives at CasinoAus. My education in Communication across Europe has sharpened my skills in fintech, casino legislation, and digital marketing. Backed by a strong foundation in SEO, storytelling, and cross-cultural communication, I’m passionate about creating content that resonates globally and educates our audience.

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