Cryptocurrencies and credit cards banned for gambling across Australia in new crackdown –

With the growth of the crypto industry in Australia, regulators are introducing new laws to prevent people from losing money they don't have.

On June 11, 2024, Australia banned the use of cryptocurrencies in online gambling. It’s part of a plan by regulators to stop Australians from “gambling money they don’t have”.

Along with cryptocurrencies, credit cards linked to cryptocurrency wallets have also been restricted.

Cryptocurrencies have become one of the most common means of payment for gambling. We are therefore likely to see more gambling prevention announcements from Australia in the near future.

Australia’s government is cracking down on crypto gambling

Australian Communications Minister Michelle Rowland was quoted as saying “Australians shouldn’t be gambling with money they don’t have”. She went on to say that the move is a means of mitigating the “evil” brought by the current government in recent years.

Bets placed in crypto increased by 83% from 2022 to 2023, according to a report by SOFTSWISS. Australia has been home to many online casinos, many of which accept digital assets as payment.

A 2019 study by Gambling Research Australia found that 30.7% of Australian gamblers preferred to use cryptocurrencies for online gambling activities.

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Independent bodies weighing new laws

Kai Cantwell, who oversees Responsible Wagering Australia, an independent body that monitors the Australian gambling market, spoke. He called on regulators to extend the ban to exempt forms of gambling. Mr Kai believes the measures need to be consistent across all areas of gambling or they could push Australians towards “less regulated types of gambling”.

The new law goes hand in hand with existing measures, especially in physical casinos. Credit cards are already banned in real-world casinos from 2023. Originally introduced in 2023, the new rules were introduced as an amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. Related platforms were given a transition period of six months to comply with the new set of rules. Failure to comply can result in fines of up to A$234,750 ($155.00).

Increased regulatory scrutiny amid crypto boom

Australian regulators have also begun to focus on the ever-growing cryptocurrency industry. In May, the Australian tax office issued a notice to cryptocurrency exchanges. In the announcement, the IRS requested details of up to 1.2 million user accounts in a bid to crack down on tax evasion.

Meanwhile, the nation’s securities regulator has cracked down on crypto companies it believes have offered unregistered securities. The move follows actions by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has been a leader in crypto regulation.

Disclaimer: Crypto is a high risk asset class. This article is provided for informational purposes and does not constitute investment advice. You could lose all your capital.