Monday, June 17, 2024

Australia Shakes Up Online Gambling with Crypto and Credit Card Ban – TipRanks.com

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It’s official, Australia is shaking up its online gambling industry with a crypto and credit card ban. Picture this: you’re ready to place a bet online, thinking you’ll win big, only to realize the rules have changed overnight. No more swiping your credit card or using your favorite cryptocurrency. That’s the new reality in Australia, where the government has decided to play hardball with online gamblers.

A Ban on Crypto and Credit Cards

In a move that has gamblers and betting companies shaking in their boots, Australia has implemented a ban on using cryptocurrencies and credit cards for online gambling. This crackdown aims to protect Aussies from spending money they don’t have. Starting June 11, anyone caught not complying with these new rules could face fines up to a hefty 234,750 Australian dollars ($155,000). Talk about putting your money where your mouth is!

The Why Behind the Ban

Michelle Rowland, Australia’s Communications Minister, explained that the ban is a way to mitigate the harm caused by gambling with borrowed money. “Australians should not be gambling with money they do not have,” she said. It’s part of a broader effort by the Albanese government to prevent gambling-related issues. And it seems like they’re just getting started, with more measures promised in the future.

Industry Reactions and Concerns

Kai Cantwell, the CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia, believes this is a crucial step to help people control their gambling habits. But he’s also urging the government to extend these bans to all forms of gambling. Without consistent regulations, he warns, gamblers might turn to less-regulated and potentially more harmful gambling options.

Interestingly, while some in the industry are applauding the move, others are concerned about the impact on the booming crypto gambling sector. With crypto bets jumping 83% from 2022 to 2023, the industry was on track to hit $90 billion by 2024. Now, those numbers might need a serious rethink.

What’s Next for Crypto Gamblers?

For those wondering where this leaves them, the answer is simple: look for alternatives or abide by the new rules. Online casinos in Australia were given a six-month transition period to comply, which means no more crypto or credit card bets as of now. It’s a significant shift, especially given that a 2019 survey showed 30.7% of Australian gamblers preferred using cryptocurrencies.

And if you’re thinking about sneaking in a bet with your crypto wallet, think again. Australia’s communications watchdog has been empowered to enforce these new restrictions strictly.

Australia’s Increased Scrutiny on the Crypto Industry

This crackdown on crypto use in gambling isn’t happening in a vacuum. It’s part of a larger trend of increased regulatory scrutiny on the cryptocurrency sector in Australia. Recently, the Australian Tax Office demanded cryptocurrency exchanges provide details of up to 1.2 million accounts to combat tax evasion. Moreover, the securities regulator has been cracking down on companies offering unregistered securities.

Amidst this, the launch of Australia’s first Bitcoin ETF on June 4, the Monochrome Bitcoin ETF (IBTC), marked a significant milestone. It’s the first ETF product approved under the Australian Financial Services licensing rules’ new crypto asset category. However, even with such advancements, the regulatory environment remains challenging.

Looking Forward

As Australia tightens its grip on gambling and crypto regulations, the industry will need to adapt swiftly. Whether it’s through embracing these new rules or finding innovative ways to comply, one thing is clear: the game has changed.

So, next time you think about placing a bet online, remember the new rules. And as they say in the gambling world, always play your cards right!

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