Australia bans the apply of cryptocurrencies for online gambling

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The Australian government is cracking down on online gambling by banning the apply of cryptocurrencies and credit cards in online betting. This measure is an attempt to limit investors’ losses in the country.

The Australian government bans the apply of cryptocurrencies in online gambling

The Canberra Times on Monday. reported that Australians are prohibited from using cryptocurrencies and credit cards to gamble online. The ban, announced in January, was to come into force today.

The Australian government has offered gambling companies a six-month transition period to allow them to make any necessary changes and warn users of the imminent ban. According to the report, companies that do not comply with the novel ruling could face fines of up to A$234,750, or about $150,000.

Moreover, the ban covers credit cards linked to digital wallets, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well as all novel forms of credit. As a result, the novel regulation aligns the regulations on online gambling with the regulations on land-based gambling.

However, this does not affect online lottery payments, which still allow you to apply a credit card. Kai Cantwell, chief executive of Responsible Wagering Australia, has urged the Australian government to harmonize regulations across all forms of gambling:

If consumer protection measures are not consistent across all forms of gambling, it will encourage vulnerable Australians to switch to less regulated types of gambling where they are at greater risk.

The government’s ban on the apply of cryptocurrencies in online gambling aims to prevent Australians from “losing money they don’t have” and minimize gambling-related harm, according to a report.

Gambling problem in Australia

Michelle Rowland, Australia’s communications minister, explained that the Australian government is working to “benefit thousands of vulnerable Australians” by cracking down on online gambling platforms.

Gambling is a popular pastime among Australians. The country has a long history with industry, which developed rapidly in the mid-1990s. In 2007, Australia had the highest gambling rate in the world, with 80% of the adult population gambling.

In 2022, online gambling has become the fastest growing sector of the industry. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), problem gambling is the country’s leading public concern, accounting for an estimated $25 billion in legal gambling losses each year. This figure marked the highest per capita losses in the world two years ago.

17% of Australian adults used online casinos in 2022. Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 

Using cryptocurrencies for gambling is not a novel problem in the cryptocurrency industry. As Bitcoinist reports, one of the developers of the Solana-based Cypher protocol blew the project’s funds. In May, one of the protocol’s main creators pleaded guilty to stealing $300,000 in various cryptocurrencies from Cypher’s wallets to fund his gambling addiction.

The report states that the developer lost Cypher Redemption Package funds after squandering them, affecting thousands of users and leaving little or no hope of recovering investors’ funds.

It is worth noting that despite the growing problem, problem gambling is not inherent to cryptocurrencies, and cryptocurrencies are not the cause of gambling addiction.

However, some studies and surveys conducted in the UK indicated that people at risk view cryptocurrency investing as a form of gambling and “are harmed by investing in cryptocurrencies and other high-risk commercial products, experiencing similar difficulties to those reported by people with gambling-related harms.”

cryptocurrency, BTC, BTCUSDT, Bitcoin

Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $67,092 in the weekly chart. Source: BTCUSDT on TradingView

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