The Australian federal government has introduced a bill to prohibit the use of credit cards and digital currencies for online gambling. This measure aims to protect vulnerable Australians from problem gambling and prevent further harm to families.
Gambling is a significant issue in Australia, with nearly 80 percent of the population participating in some form of gambling. Approximately 3 percent of Australians are at risk of gambling-related problems. In fact, Australians lose an estimated $25 billion each year through legal gambling activities alone, according to the Institute of Health and Welfare.
The proposed bill would impose fines of up to $234,750 on operators who do not comply, and it would also empower ministers to ban future credit-related products.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland emphasizes the importance of not betting with borrowed money, stating that the Australian government is committed to protecting its citizens from the harms of gambling.
The use of credit cards for land-based wagering has already been restricted following a 2021 parliamentary inquiry. This inquiry highlighted the significant and life-changing consequences of using credit to gamble online, affecting not only individuals but also their families and communities.
Responsible Wagering Australia supports this ban, which is part of a series of policies aimed at reducing gambling harm by reducing overall losses. These policies include monthly activity statements and the national self-exclusion register, BetStop.