Australia Bans Crypto And Credit Cards For Online Betting: Key Details

Australia has taken a significant step to curb gambling-related issues by banning the use of credit cards and cryptocurrencies for online betting. This new regulation aims to prevent Australians from wagering with borrowed money or anonymous digital funds, promoting more responsible gambling practices.

Broadening the Scope of Gambling Restrictions

Effective immediately, the ban extends to credit cards linked to digital wallets, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and any future forms of credit. This new measure aligns with existing restrictions in physical casinos, where credit cards are already prohibited. However, online lotteries remain an exception, still allowing credit card payments.

Previously, the Australian market saw a substantial interest in online casinos accepting cryptocurrencies due to the speed and anonymity of these transactions. A 2019 study revealed that 30.7% of Australian gamblers used crypto for online betting, highlighting the significant impact of this new regulation.

Stricter Regulations and Industry Response

Kai Cantwell, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia, has urged the government to extend these prohibitions to all forms of gambling, including the currently exempt online lotteries. Cantwell emphasized the importance of this measure in helping individuals manage their gambling behaviour more effectively.

The amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 was passed late last year, initiating a six-month transition period. Companies failing to comply with the new ban could face fines of up to AU$234,750 ($155,085). Additionally, the communications regulatory authority has been granted enhanced powers to enforce these restrictions.

Future Measures and Government Stance

The federal government is also considering a proposal to phase out gambling advertisements over the next three years. This proposal is one of 31 recommendations from a parliamentary inquiry into problem gambling. Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland indicated that more measures to curb gambling are forthcoming, reinforcing the government’s stance that Australians should not gamble with money they do not have.

Crypto Adoption Continues to Grow in Australia

Despite the ban on using cryptocurrencies for online betting, Australia remains a prominent player in the global crypto market. The country ranks 9th worldwide for crypto adoption, with 17% of its population owning cryptocurrencies, surpassing the global average of 15%.

Signalling this growing acceptance, Australia recently approved two new exchange-traded products (ETPs) that facilitate investment in crypto assets. This development highlights the country’s balanced approach to fostering crypto adoption while ensuring stringent regulations to safeguard its citizens from gambling-related harm.

Also Read: Australia’s First Spot Bitcoin ETF to Launch on Cboe Australia

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