Friday, June 14, 2024

Australia Enacts Credit Card Ban for Online Gambling

Must read

Starting today, Australians will no longer be able to use their credit cards or cryptocurrencies to fund online gambling accounts.

Jun 11, 2024 • 17:13 ET

• 4 min read

Australia passed stricter gambling regulations last December. One of the added provisions banned the use of credit cards and cryptocurrencies to wager online. That provision went into effect today. Companies that fail to enforce the new ban are subject to fines up to AU #234,750 (US$154,282).

Other provisions of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023 include the launch of BetStop, a self-exclusion register, and a mandate to pre-verify IDs for online gaming accounts. Communications Minister Michele Rowland said, “Our commitment to ensuring that gambling takes place within a robust legislative framework with strong consumer protections remains steadfast, and we will have more to announce in due course.” 

Australia already had banned the use of credit cards at land-based casinos. The new law closes the online gambling loophole.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth remarked, “You can’t use your credit card to place a bet for land-based gambling and now the same rules apply for online gambling.”

UK and Norway – Sweden Next? 

Australia is not the first country to take such measures. Norway banned online gambling payments via credit cards or online payment processors since 2010. In 2020, the UK passed a ban on gambling-related credit card use. So far, there have been few issues with the tighter rules. 

In February, Sweden’s Ministry of Finance proposed tightening its rules governing gambling on credit. Currently, licensed operators are not allowed to provide credit to gambling consumers. The proposed restrictions would ban any use of credit for gambling. If approved, a full credit card ban could be in place by April 2025. 

US States Could Follow Suit

As a country, the US is unlikely to pass an outright ban on credit card use for gambling. For one thing, most gambling laws and regulations are controlled by the states. But some states do have credit card bans, and at least one more is pursuing a credit card prohibition. 

Pennsylvania is the latest state looking to ban credit card funding of online gambling accounts. In April, Senator Wayne Fontana filed Bill 1159 banning credit card use for all online gambling, including online casinos,  iLottery, daily fantasy sports (DFS), and online sports betting. “There are more young folks between 18 and 30 gambling online, and they are funding it up on their credit cards,” Fontana said. “The state is partners with [online gambling companies] and we have an obligation to make sure people do not get addicted if we can help it.”

If Bill 1159 passes into law, Pennsylvania will become the fourth US state to ban credit card funding of online gambling accounts, following Iowa, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. So far, there haven’t been many violations of credit card bans in the US. But there have been a few. 

In 2022, Iowa fined American Wagering – which does business as Caesars Sportsbook — $60,000 after uncovering hundreds of transactions involving credit cards. In many instances, credit cards were used to buy debit cards that were subsequently used to wager. That same year, Iowa fined FanDuel $75,000 for two instances of credit card use.  

Last year, DraftKings violated Massachusetts’ credit card ban, self-reporting 243 wagers placed with out-of-state credit cards. Massachusetts is still debating DraftKings’ punishment

Pages related to this topic

Latest article