Australian Ministers Call for a Credit Card Ban for Online Casinos

By Ryan White Updated: June 2023

In an attempt to align online casinos with their brick-and-mortar counterparts and offer players more protection, Australia’s government is getting ready to amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to prevent players from using credit cards when placing their wagers online. The legislation that would ban this payment method would be gradually introduced Down Under in the upcoming months. 

The Federal parliament first initiated the discussions on a potential ban on credit cards for online gambling in November 2021. That was the time when the respective restriction was recommended by a committee related to corporations and financial services.

While players would still be allowed to opt for other payment methods when making their bets online, if implemented, the decision would also bring a series of changes for online players. Let’s take a closer look at the topic. 

Bringing Online Gambling in Line With Land Based Casinos

The no credit card regulation has already been imposed on wagering in land casinos, clubs, and pubs. Now, the Australian Communications and Media Authority is expected to enforce the same restriction on online wagering services provided by operators owning an Australian licence. The idea of the ban is once again in the spotlight after it was revisited by a large number of crossbench MPS and reform advocates who pressured the government to take more action in the battle against problem gambling.

The government has announced it would soon initiate consultations with stakeholders on the necessary draft legislation along with the technical implementation regarding bank identification numbers that would be used to identify and then block payments made via credit cards.

No Credits Cards Online Casino

Australian pokie machines and casinos already use similar blocking methods for bank identification numbers to prevent people from withdrawing money using credit cards at ATMs.

If implemented, the changes would create more equality among online and offline gambling venues. The change has been well received by Tim Costello, chief advocate for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, who explained that people who use borrowed money to wager “are four times more likely to do damage and harm” to themselves. Costello further argued that a ban on credit cards similar to the one embraced by countries like Albania and the United Kingdom in the past years would be important for Australia. 

Costello also believes more needs to be done to protect Aussie players in the context of domestic players suffering the most significant gambling losses of all countries ($25 billion in yearly losses) where gambling is legal.

In order for the proposed policies to be fully effective, they would need to be well respected by all gaming operators. Crown Casino and Star Entertainment, two of the biggest gaming operators in the country have managed to go around the financial and casino regulations in the past years and manipulate their hospitality receipts to enable Chinese VIPs to make use of their credit cards to wager. They were also found to forge bills for accommodations that allowed high rollers to rely on credit cards to buy casino chips.

People Should Not Bet With Money They Don’t Have 

While the Australian government is not asking for a complete ban on gambling, it has expressed its opinion that individuals should not have to endure the financial burdens resulting from addictive gambling behaviours. In other words, consumers should not keep wagering using money that they do not actually have.

Politicians Support a Policy Against Gambling Harm, Not Against Gambling in General 

The Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland and Minister for Families and Social Services, Amanda Rishworth, have expressed their own views on the fact that online players should never borrow money to bet. 

The amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 are expected to be introduced later in 2023, following the successful blocking of bank identification numbers in land casinos and poker machine clubs and venues in order to prevent credit card withdrawals from ATM machines. The same policy has been implemented by British authorities in regard to online gambling, according to the same two ministers.

How Will Banning Credit Cards Help?

The ban on credit cards should eliminate the problem of gamblers using credit cards to make wagers online and losing billions in the process. According to data from Responsible Wagering Australia, around 20% of all deposits into wagering accounts have been completed using credit cards in 2021 alone. 

Gambling Alliance Welcomes the Initiative

Carol Bennet, the chief executive officer of the Alliance for Gambling Reform warmly welcomed the proposed changes, explaining the measure would significantly cut the harm related to uncontrollable forms of online gambling. Bennet also spoke about the large number of people who currently go through a lot of gambling harm. She explained the same individuals are also more prone to rely on credit cards to ask for cash advances, which is money they cannot truly afford to use. 


While there is no deadline regarding the implementation of the new amendments, they are expected to be put into practice in the following months. Additional topics will be included in the upcoming discussions regarding the ban on credit cards, such as the use of fake eCommerce platforms accepting payments that can be transferred to players’ online gaming accounts or the request for cash advances from credit card providers. Players have plenty of other valid, safe, quick, and convenient banking methods like crypto payments to top their accounts and cash out their winnings at top online casinos.