Aus Credit Card & Crypto Wagering Ban now in Effect

Australia’s ban on credit cards and cryptocurrencies to fund online gambling came into effect this week.

Punters will no longer be able to fund their online sports betting accounts using credit cards. Wagering service providers accepting credit cards or any of the other banned payment methods face fines close to $240,000.

Lottery transactions are exempt from the measures.

Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023 (The Bill)

The Bill behind the ban is an amendment to the longstanding Interactive Gambling Act 2001. It was actually passed by both houses of Parliament in December 2023, but wasn’t stipulated to come into effect until 6 months after receiving Royal Assent. This was yesterday.

The key provisions of the Bill make it illegal for any online gambling service provider to intentionally accept payment from customers in Australia, using:

  1.  a credit card, or
  2. a payment service provider (PayPal, Skrill etc) where the account is credit card funded, or
  3.  any digital currency (Bitcoin, Ethereum etc)

Businesses caught flouting the law face both criminal and civil penalties, with a total possible fine per offence of 1250 penalty units (equating to $234,750 in 2024). Additional fines with amounts calculated daily can be levied for continuing offences.

Australian Banks already on board

The Bill doesn’t target payment providers with penalties or put any onus on them to police transactions (as America’s UIGEA did).

Nonetheless Australian banks were on the front foot last year preparing for the ban, advising customers they would be blocking credit cards transactions for online gambling where possible. Australian banks are always looking for opportunities to portray themselves as good corporate citizens, so there may have been PR motives for the public announcements.

PayPal now on board

PayPal have also advised customers across Australia that a credit card funded PayPal account will no longer work with their online bookie.

Still keen to service the gambling industry, they reminded customers that PayPal payments funded from bank accounts, debit cards or a PayPal balance will continue to work.

From May 28, PayPal will only accept debit card, bank account or PayPal balance for your transactions with Wagering, merchants to comply with upcoming changes to the law. If you have a credit card as your primary funding method, this will no longer work from May 28. Please note that your credit card will continue to be available when you shop at stores in other shopping categories.

If you already have a debit card or bank account linked, we will automatically use one of these funding sources to complete your payment rather than your linked credit card. If you don’t have a debit card or bank account linked, please log into your PayPal account, and add one of these funding sources.

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