Recent Online Casino Bans in Australia
Online gambling is a popular and lucrative activity for many Australians, but it also comes with significant risks and harms. In recent years. The Australian government and regulators have taken various measures to combat illegal online gambling and protect consumers from predatory and unlicensed operators.
New Banning System
One of the most significant initiatives is the introduction of BetStop. BetStop is a national self-exclusion register for gambling online that allows Aussies to ban themselves from all online casino sites using just one form. BetStop was launched on 21 August 2023, almost five years after legislation was introduced to parliament. It replaces the ineffective state and territory systems that did not cover all bookmakers. BetStop aims to help people who struggle with gambling addiction and want to stop gambling online. It is believed that an effective self-exclusion online gambling register could change lives.
Another measure taken by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the blocking of websites that promote and drive traffic toward online casino type services. These websites, also known as affiliate advertising websites, typically present themselves as independent reviewers of gambling services, but they often receive commissions for providing web traffic to illegal operators. The ACMA has asked Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block these sites, which include:
- Aussie Casino Hex
- Australia OK Casinos
- Aussie Online Pokies
- Australian Casino Club
- Australian Gambling
- True Blue Casinos
The ACMA says that these marketing sites can push consumers to illegal gambling services that do not have the protections that go with licensed and regulated services. The ACMA also says that it often receives complaints from consumers that winnings are not honoured and that incentives and pressure tactics target problem gamblers.
A third measure taken by the Australian government is the banning of credit cards for online gambling. The government announced in April 2023 that it would prohibit online gambling service providers of wagering, gaming and other gambling services (but not lotteries) from accepting payment by credit cards, including via digital wallets. The ban follows a recommendation from a parliamentary inquiry into gambling and credit cards chaired by Liberal MP Andrew Wallace in 2021. The inquiry found that credit cards can exacerbate gambling harm by allowing gamblers to borrow money to gamble beyond their means.
These measures are part of the government’s efforts to reduce the social and economic impacts of online gambling in Australia, which has one of the highest rates of gambling losses per capita in the world. The government says that it is committed to ensuring that Australians can enjoy responsible and safe online gambling, while protecting vulnerable people from harm.