Government to Ban Credit Card Deposits
Recently, there has been increasing buzz over an upcoming ban from Parliament on credit card gambling. Presently, most online casinos accept credit cards for deposits. According to a 2021 parliamentary inquiry, credit card deposits make up 20% of total deposits to online casinos. While not the dominant deposit option, credit cards represent a sizeable portion of total gamblers.
Communications minister Michelle Rowland supports the measure, stating, “People should not be betting with money they don’t have.” The new governmental action will place limits on online gambling similar to those in brick-and-mortar casinos in Australia.
How Will the Ban Work?
The government is still deciding on how they plan to enact the ban. However, The Guardian reports that the government is considering conducting bans through Bank Identification Numbers. These numbers are codes sent by companies that identify transactions. Any BIN that is classified as gambling would be blocked by banks.
At this time, it is unknown whether the ban on credit cards will impact prepaid cards such as Maestro. In the past, prepaid cards were a reliable alternative for gaming deposits. However, we would not be surprised to see banks extend the ban to prepaid cards to avoid potential legal conflicts.
The official ban will be conducted through amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. These amendments are expected to be announced later this year. A parliamentary social policy committee will also recommend how to proceed. They are currently studying online gambling and plan to make recommendations soon.
Closure of online gambling loophole causing ‘life-changing harm’ | The New Daily https://t.co/EXFnat0sGH
“…“It’s as simple as this: people should not be betting with money they do not have,” Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said…”#Gambling #Auspol
— Ray Marx & Robyn Deane (@marxdeane) April 28, 2023
What Options Would Be Available to Players?
If you currently use credit cards for deposits, you should consider alternatives. For fiat deposits, the #1 alternative at most Australian online casinos is Neosurf. Neosurf is a prepaid voucher system that’s used for gaming deposits. One drawback to Neosurf compared to other options is that it generally has a lower deposit limit.
A couple of e-wallets that are available at casinos are eZeeWallet and MiFinity. Both of these options permit players to transfer funds electronically. These options are not subject to banking regulations and are currently legal under Australian law.
The alternative that’s ever-increasing in popularity is cryptocurrency. Most online casinos now accept Bitcoin for deposits. Many also accept deposits in Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, USDT, Dogecoin, and other cryptos. Cryptocurrency deposits’ primary advantage is that they are decentralised and presently unregulated. You have complete control of your funds, and transfers are secure.
While a credit card ban will inconvenience players, there is one positive to this. It will help players to better identify legitimate casinos. Legitimate online casinos will comply with a credit card ban and will not try and find loopholes around the issue.
The United States ran into this issue after it imposed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. Some online casinos and poker rooms took advantage of loopholes to allow gambling deposits. Ultimately, these poker rooms and casinos were prosecuted and shut down, but not before some sites blew through millions in player deposits.
For now, we urge players to start looking for alternatives to credit cards in anticipation of the coming ban. This way, you can continue playing at your favourite online casinos.