Australia implements sweeping ban on credit and crypto for online betting

As an analyst with a background in economics and experience in studying gambling markets, I strongly support the Australian government’s decision to ban the use of credit cards and cryptocurrencies for online betting. This measure is essential to protect consumers, especially those who may be struggling with gambling addiction or debt.

In its most recent effort to address problem gambling within the country, the Australian government has announced a prohibition on using credit cards and cryptocurrencies for online betting transactions.

Based on a recent local announcement on June 11th, the prohibition now encompasses credit cards connected to electronic wallets, virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, and any emerging payment methods. Consequently, Australians are restricted from making bets using borrowed funds or unidentified digital currencies.

In the newest set of rules for internet gambling, there is a match with the restrictions imposed on traditional casinos, where credit card usage is prohibited. Notably, these guidelines exclude online lottery platforms, which continue to accept credit card transactions.

Kai Cantwell, the CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia, strongly advocates for an extension of the current gambling ban to cover previously exempted forms.

“Cantwell stated that this step is significant for safeguarding customers and enhancing their ability to manage their gambling activities independently.”

As a crypto investor looking back on last year, I can tell you that legislators passed an amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. This law forbids online service providers from catering to Australians with specific gambling offerings.

After this announcement, gambling service providers were granted a half-year timeline to adapt to the new regulatory requirements. Failure to adhere to the prohibition may result in penalties as severe as AU$234,750 ($155,000).

The communications regulator has also been granted greater authority to enforce these restrictions.

The federal government is considering a plan to eliminate gambling ads gradually over a three-year period. This idea was among the 31 proposals put forth during a parliamentary investigation into problematic gambling in the country.

Michelle Rowland, the Communications Minister, shared that the government intends to unveil additional regulations aimed at curbing gambling in the future.

“Australians should not be gambling with money they do not have,” she said.

Previously, Australia witnessed a thriving scene for online casinos that accepted digital currency payments, including Bitcoin. The allure of swift and anonymous transactions provided by these cryptocurrencies proved attractive to many gamblers.

In the year 2019, approximately one-third (30.7%) of Australian online gamblers utilized cryptocurrencies for their gaming activities.

Tax authorities in Australia have been actively requesting information from cryptocurrency exchanges concerning millions of investors.

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2024-06-11 12:09