Date: 11.06.2024

by Adam Dworak

Australia Implements Comprehensive Ban on Credit Card and Cryptocurrency Betting

The Australian government has implemented a sweeping ban on the use of credit cards and cryptocurrencies for online betting starting today. The new regulations, which came into effect following a six-month transition period, mark a significant shift in the country’s approach to responsible gambling. These changes align the rules for online platforms with those governing traditional casinos, where credit card usage is already prohibited.


Addressing the Risks of Problem Gambling

The decision to ban credit card and cryptocurrency payments for online betting was driven by growing concerns over the detrimental impact of problem gambling on individuals, families, and the broader community.

Authorities recognized that the ease and anonymity of these payment methods were contributing to a rise in impulsive and uncontrolled gambling behavior, often fueled by borrowed money or untraceable digital funds.

“Australians should not be gambling with money they do not have,” stated Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland, underscoring the government’s commitment to safeguarding the financial well-being of its citizens. This move is part of a broader effort to strengthen online gambling regulations and address the complex challenges posed by the industry’s rapid growth and evolving technological landscape.

Impact on Online Gambling Platforms

This shift is expected to have a significant impact on the profitability and operational models of online gambling platforms. These platforms are now forced to seek alternative payment solutions that align with the government’s vision for responsible gambling. The communications regulatory authority has been granted increased powers to enforce the restrictions, ensuring that the industry adheres to the new rules.

Protecting Vulnerable Individuals

The primary objective of the credit card and cryptocurrency ban is to safeguard individuals, particularly those at risk of developing gambling addictions, from the temptation of easy access to borrowed or anonymous funds. By removing these payment options, the government aims to create a more controlled and transparent environment for online betting. Gamblers are now forced to use their own money, making it less likely they will spiral into financial ruin.

Kai Cantwell, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia, praised the move, stating, “This is an important measure to protect customers, making it easier for people to stay in control of their own gambling behavior.”

The ban is regarded as an essential measure in the broader initiative to tackle the societal and economic repercussions of problem gambling, which can severely impact individuals, families, and communities.

Future Regulatory Changes

While the current ban applies specifically to online betting platforms, there are indications that the government may seek to expand the scope of regulation even further. A proposal is currently under consideration to gradually eliminate gambling advertisements over a three-year period.

If implemented, this move would significantly reduce the industry’s ability to promote its services and reach new customers.