Australia prohibits online gambling with credit cards and crypto

The new regulations align with similar legislation regarding land-based casinos

To prevent gambling addiction, Australia has prohibited the usage of credit cards and cryptocurrencies for online betting. The prohibition applies to all forms of credit, including digital wallets linked with credit cards as well as Bitcoin.

However, while it extends legislation from physical casinos into the cyber world, online lotteries will continue accepting payments made using credit cards.

This new law is part of a wider attempt by Australian lawmakers to tighten their grip on the industry and protect customers. In order to comply with last year's amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act (2001), approved after a months’ grace period during which companies were given time to adjust their operations accordingly or face fines amounting up to AUD 234,750 ($155,085).

Furthermore, the Australian Communications and Media Authority has been granted more powers under the act so that it can enforce these new rules effectively.

The CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), Kai Cantwell has recommended that all types of lotteries be included in this ban despite them being exempted at the present moment.

It should be noted that Cantwell said that consistency across different formats when it comes down to protecting consumers is paramount therefore such a move would discourage people who are already vulnerable from transitioning into less regulated areas where there is much higher risk involved. He further added that without measures like these customers will never be able to fully control their gambling activities, as reported by The North West Star.

Australia’s government also showed proactivity towards regulating the gaming sector through a parliamentary inquiry that generated 31 recommendations. One of them aims at phasing out advertisements over three years. Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland hinted about forthcoming measures aimed at preventing harm related to betting, stating clearly that no one should gamble money they do not have.

However, despite a tough stance on betting activities within the country’s borders Australians seem not to have lost interest in cryptocurrencies. Australia is currently ranked ninth globally in terms of the adoption of cryptocurrencies with ownership levels at 17% surpassing the global average of 15%.  Additionally, two new crypto-related exchange-traded products (ETPs) received the green light from financial watchdogs.

Australia’s strategy embodies a subtle blend of endorsing financial innovation and implementing rigid betting laws. The prohibition of credit cards and cryptocurrencies in internet betting stands as a notable move in dealing with gambling harm by making sure that buyers do not use borrowed or unidentified funds for gambling activities.

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Written by Silvia Pavlof

Silvia has explored various forms of writing, ranging from content creation for social media to crafting movie scripts. Drawing on her experience as a journalist specializing in the gambling sector, she is currently investigating the impact of cryptocurrencies and blockchain on traditional gambling and iGaming.

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