Pre-paid Gambling Cards Being Considered in Australia Could Spark a New Adaptation Trend

Published March 10, 2021 by Lee R

Pre-paid Gambling Cards Being Considered in Australia Could Spark a New Adaptation Trend

Major jurisdictions such as Australia are looking at a new solution for player protection.

Pre-paid gambling cards have moved to the forefront of discussions in Australia regarding enhancing player protections.

Pre-paid Gambling Cards

Using pre-paid gambling cards in pub and club gaming machines is being considered as a way to protect players, but the Aussi government is not sold on the feasibility of such a measure at this point.

History of the Idea

The pre-paid gambling card solution for helping players manage their gambling was introduced in late 2020 by Victor Dominello. The proposal called for players to obtain government-regulated cards where they could pre-load money and use them for gaming bets and play.

Money Laundering Protection

The cards have also been acknowledged by some officials as a solution to money-laundering.

Gambling reform advocate MP Andrew Wilkie said the card can “significantly reduce money-laundering and provide opportunities for reducing the prevalence of gambling addiction.”

Key Region for Experimentation

The anti-money laundering voices which include Justice Patricia Bergin are primarily concentrated in New South Wales, the state which Wilkie claims is “home to about half the country’s poker machines, as well as the poker machine industry’s most strident advocates."

AML Awareness

Wilkie referred to Bergin's Crown Resorts inquiry as one of a series of developments that has raised consciousness in Australia about the threat of money laundering to the jurisdiction's gambling industry:

“The community now understands much more clearly the harm caused by poker machines.”

Red Tape

Concerns about implementation remain, starting with the details of regulatory adaptation and compliance would require at this stage to integrate pre-paid gambling cards, regardless of their proposed benefits.

Nationals party leader John Barilaro refutes the urgency of the cards in this delicate period of regulatory adaptation in Australia, saying that now is “not the time to strangle pubs and clubs with red tape.”

Pandemic Impact

The cards would also provide a potentially undesirable convenience: facilitating land-based gambling in a time in which public gatherings of any kind can exacerbate the global pandemic at the local and regional levels of Australia's jurisdiction.


Pre-paid cards with play limits appears a potentially effective solution for protecting players online as well, with the idea likely to ring out as player protection adaptations trend through jurisdictions worldwide.

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