“People should not be betting with money they do not have,” Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said.
Australians will soon be banned from using credit cards to fund their online gambling as the government steps up its crackdown on the industry.
The legislation also grants new powers to the Australian Communications and Media Authority to ensure its ability to enforce the law.
Gambling companies could face a penalty of $234,750 (US$150,000) if they do not implement the ban.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said a ban on credit cards would reduce online gambling harm among the population.
“Legislating a ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling will help to protect vulnerable Australians and their loved ones.”
Echoing the sentiment, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the legislation was the next step in the government’s plan to bring down problem gambling rates in the country.
“You can’t use your credit card to place a bet for land-based gambling, and the same rules should apply for online gambling too,” she said.
“We know minimising the harm caused by online gambling is not a set-and-forget exercise, and I look forward to working with my state and territory counterparts on what comes next to continue this positive change.”
On average, Australian adults spent $83 (US$55.2) on sports betting, $93 on racing, and $109 on other types of products (pokies, casino games, and more) on a typical gambling day.
Credit Ban Extends to Digital Wallets and Cryptocurrency
The ban is also extended to other types of credit products and cryptocurrency to close potential loopholes in the legislation.
This means online gamblers will not be able to use digital wallets such as ApplePay, buy now pay later services, and newly emerged credit payments to fund their habit.
“This mitigates the risk that individuals could purchase cryptocurrency using a credit card and then use these funds to pay it online,” Ms. Rowland said.