Labor will introduce laws banning the use of credit cards for online gambling in line with existing rules for betting in pubs, clubs and casinos.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority would be given greater powers to enforce the ban, which would apply to wagering services with Australian licences.

The Albanese government will on Friday announce plans to introduce the relevant legislation by the end of the year, following the lead of the United Kingdom which introduced a similar ban about three years ago.

Federal parliament began considering the banning of credit cards for internet wagering in November 2021 when the restriction was recommended by a parliamentary committee on corporations and financial services.

Gambling addicts, reform advocates and crossbench MPs recently revived the idea as they heap pressure on the government to do more to tackle problem gambling.

The government says it will soon begin consulting with stakeholders on draft legislation and the technical implementation of the credit card ban, which will use bank identification numbers (BINs) to identify and block credit card payments.

Australian casinos and poker machine venues use a similar method of blocking BINs to stop credit card withdrawals from ATMs.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth flagged the federal government would work with state and territory counterparts to introduce further gambling reforms.

“Our government is committed to taking action in this space,” she said.

“We’ve implemented new taglines, we’re introducing BetStop and now with this latest measure we’re taking further action to help Australians who are vulnerable to harmful online wagering.”

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said protecting Australians from gambling harm was one of the government’s key priorities.

“It’s as simple as this: people should not be betting with money they do not have,” she said.

Data the ABA collected from the big four banks as well as Bendigo and Adelaide banks indicated more than 775,000 debit and credit cards have had gambling blocks placed upon them by customers.

Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) has welcomed the changes, stating credit and gambling could never go together, even if the percentage collected funded any good cause.


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