Australian Government Ponders Credit Card Ban for Gambling

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Government officials in Australia are getting ready to meet with their counterparts in other countries to discuss the booming online gambling industry. The purpose of this meeting is to formulate a strategy for completely rejecting the use of credit cards for supporting widespread online gambling activities across the country.

As part of the proposed changes, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will have expanded authority to punish lawbreakers under a new amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act that they set for formal introduction on September 13th. With that, companies found to be accepting credit cards illegally might be fined up to AU$ 234,750.

Michelle Rowland, Minister of Communications, and Amanda Rishworth, Minister of Social Services, have already released a joint statement emphasizing the significance of responsible gaming and the need to prevent persons from gambling beyond their means.

iGaming Statistics in Australia

According to recent studies, Australians lose an average of AU$1,300 per adult per year due to gaming. Online gambling and the widespread usage of poker machines (pokies) are primarily to blame for the staggering AU$25 billion in losses incurred by Australian gamblers.

According to the Australian Gambling Research Centre, over 75% of Australian adults gambled sometime in the previous year. The prevalence of problem gambling has doubled from 2010/2011 to 2019 to 1.23%. Also, compared to those who favor land-based casinos, internet gamblers are three times more likely to develop a gambling problem.

Why Now?

There have been months of debate over changing Australia’s laws on internet gambling. Australians may now use BetStop, a government-run self-exclusion register, to voluntarily restrict their access to all forms of internet gambling.

In addition to the forthcoming changes, several other measures are in the pipeline to enhance the integrity of Australia’s gambling industry. By the end of September 2023, regulatory authorities aim to conduct obligatory identification verification checks for new consumers. Each of these changes is to make Australia’s thriving casino sector a better, safer place for gamblers of all stripes.

The government is also planning to implement customer pre-verification rules, which would compel users to verify their identities before registering and making any wagers. With that, it has announced that later this year, ministers responsible for internet gambling on behalf of the states, territory, and Commonwealth would be getting together for a meeting.

There is little question that these preventive efforts will have a big influence in reducing problem gambling in Australia, and the government is currently debating whether more measures are needed.