June 14, 2024 3 min read

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Australia Cracks Down on Crypto and Credit Cards in Online Gambling

A maximum fine of AUD 234,750 ($155,000) will be imposed on gambling companies that fail to comply with the new regulations

The Australian government recently banned cryptocurrencies and credit cards in online gambling as part of its efforts to reduce risks associated with these activities. The rule, which took effect on June 11, was introduced so that digital betting would comply with land-based regulations banning credit card use for the same purpose.

New Regulations and Fines Aim to Protect Consumers

Companies could be fined up to AUD 234,750 ($155,000) if they fail to abide by the new measures, according to the Canberra Times. This prohibition covers not only direct credit card payments but also those made through digital wallets linked with such cards or other forms of virtual money like Bitcoin.

Responsible Wagering Australia CEO Kai Cantwell said this move will protect customers while helping them control their gambling habits better and therefore decrease financial harm. He called for the extension of this ban on currently exempted forms of internet betting such as online lotteries so that all players can be fully safeguarded.

After giving gambling firms a six months’ grace period during which they had to adjust themselves according to these new rules, Canberra empowered its communications watchdog to enforce strict compliance with the regulations.

Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland argued that people should not bet with funds they lack. Thus, she expressed her satisfaction over the introduction of another law aimed at serving this purpose. She added that within three years there will be no more adverts promoting wagering because there are plans underway towards completely removing them.

One-Third of Australian Online Gamblers Use Cryptocurrencies

Australia has historically hosted numerous web-based casinos accepting cryptocurrencies largely thanks to their speediness as well as anonymity features. A study carried out in 2019 discovered that almost one-third (30.7%) of all Australian online gamblers were using digital currencies like Bitcoin. It is this trend that has necessitated some kind of action from authorities seeking prevention measures against potential threats posed by such practices.

Additionally, the federal government is considering further measures to protect consumers, including more stringent oversight and possibly introducing new regulations to keep up with technological advancements in gambling and digital finance.

Despite these moves against cryptocurrencies, they still enjoy wide adoption within Australia where the latest figures rank the country ninth globally in terms of crypto usage with 17% of the population owning some form of digital money. This dual approach underscores the delicate role played by regulators who must balance between promoting innovative financial technology and shielding citizens from its adverse effects.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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