Australia Bans Online Gambling with Credit Cards and Cryptocurrencies


To combat gambling addiction, Australia has banned the use of credit cards and cryptocurrencies for online betting. This ban includes all forms of credit, such as digital wallets linked to credit cards and popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

While the new law brings online gambling regulations in line with those for physical casinos, online lotteries remain exempt and will still accept credit card payments.

The Legal Side of Things

This regulation is part of a broader initiative by Australian lawmakers to tighten control over the gambling industry and enhance customer protection. It follows an amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act (2001), enacted after a grace period of several months, allowing companies to adjust their operations. Non-compliance could result in fines up to AUD 234,750 (approximately $155,085).

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has been granted increased powers under the amended act to ensure effective enforcement.

Industry Responses

Kai Cantwell, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), has suggested extending the ban to all types of lotteries, despite their current exemption. Cantwell emphasized that consistent regulations across all gambling formats are crucial for protecting consumers, especially those vulnerable to addiction. He argued that at-risk individuals might shift to less regulated areas without such measures, therefore posing greater risks.

Cantwell’s call for uniformity highlights the importance of comprehensive consumer protection to prevent individuals from losing control over their gambling activities.

Additional Measures and Recommendations

The Australian government continues to show proactive efforts in regulating the gaming sector. A recent parliamentary inquiry produced 31 recommendations aimed at minimizing gambling-related harm, including a proposed three-year phase-out of betting advertisements. Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland has indicated upcoming measures to prevent harm from betting, asserting that no one should gamble with money they don’t have.


Despite the stringent stance on gambling, Australians’ interest in cryptocurrencies remains strong. Australia ranks ninth globally in cryptocurrency adoption, with 17% of its population owning digital assets, surpassing the global average of 15%. Additionally, two new crypto-related exchange-traded products (ETPs) have recently been approved by financial regulators.

Balancing Innovation and Regulation

Australia’s strategy balances financial innovation with stringent gambling regulations. The ban on using credit cards and cryptocurrencies for online betting is a significant step in addressing gambling-related harm, ensuring that individuals do not gamble with borrowed or untraceable funds.

By implementing these measures, Australia aims to create a safer gambling environment while continuing to support the growth and integration of cryptocurrency within its financial landscape.

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