Sunday, June 23, 2024

Australia implements sweeping ban on credit and crypto for online betting

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The Australian government is banning the use of credit cards and cryptocurrencies for online betting in its latest bid to mitigate gambling problems troubling the nation.

According to a local report on June 11, the ban extends to credit cards linked to digital wallets, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and any other novel forms of credit. This means Australians can no longer place bets through borrowed funds or anonymous digital currencies.

The latest regulation for online betting aligns with that of physical casinos, which have also banned the use of credit cards. However, the regulations do not apply to online lotteries, which still allow credit card payments.

Kai Cantwell, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia, is urging the government to expand this ban to include forms of gambling that are currently exempted.

“This is an important measure to protect customers, making it easier for people to stay in control of their own gambling behavior,” said Cantwell.

Last year, lawmakers voted to approve the amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The act prohibits gambling providers from offering certain online services to people in Australia.

Following this, gambling service providers were given a six-month transition period to comply with the changing regulations. Companies that fail to comply with the ban risk fines of up to AU$234,750 (around $155,000).

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

Additionally, the federal government is mulling over a proposal that will see the elimination of gambling advertisements over three years. This suggestion was one of 31 recommendations floated during a parliamentary inquiry on gambling issues plaguing the nation.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland mentioned that the government would announce more rules it plans to implement to prevent gambling in the future.

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

In the past, Australia had a flourishing market for online casinos accepting payments via digital currencies like Bitcoin. The fast and anonymous transactions offered by these cryptocurrencies were appealing to gamblers.

One study even revealed that in 2019, a substantial 30.7% of Australian gamblers engaged in online gaming using cryptocurrencies.

Recently, tax officials from the land Down Under have been targeting millions of crypto investors, seeking their personal information and details from crypto exchanges.

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