Australia Bans Crypto and Credit Cards From Online Gambling

  • Australia announced a crypto and credit card ban in the online betting sector. 
  • According to a 2022 study by the Australian government, at least 3 million Australians owned crypto assets.

The Australian Government announced the ban on cryptocurrency and credit card usage in online betting games on Tuesday. The announcement is a recent development of the country’s progress towards curbing ‘problem gambling’ in both physical and digital spheres. 

The Australian Government has been working on the ban since 2021. After multiple Federal votes, the country’s leading gambling regulator, Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) enforced the ban. As per sources, the recent ban encompasses credit cards linked to digital wallets, other future forms of credit, and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. 

Presently, online lotteries in Australia are the only sectors exempt from the credit card usage ban. However, Cantwell has also advocated including online lotteries in future amendments to the ban. Moreover, Australian physical gambling institutions also hold a ban on credit cards. 

In RWA’s official statement, he stated:

“If consumer protection measures aren’t consistent across all forms of gambling it will incentivize vulnerable Australians to move to less-regulated types of gambling, where they are more at risk of harm.” 

Moreover, the regulators have announced that companies not adhering to the ban will be fined up to 234,750 Australian dollars. The companies were given a 6-month period to transition before the ban was fully enforced on Tuesday. 

Furthermore, the credit card ban is closely associated with cryptocurrency as the government has identified the prevalence of crypto usage within the sector. A 2019 study conducted by researchers from different universities revealed that approximately 30% of Australian gamblers enjoyed using crypto in online games. Additionally, the research also highlighted that gambling with cryptocurrency gave individuals ‘greater anonymity’. 

Is Crypto Usage in Australia Surging? 

In March 2022, the Home Affairs Department of the Australian Government released a report on cryptocurrency. The report stated that at least 3 million Australians owned some form of crypto asset in 2022. 

Presently, 25.6% of the Australian population own cryptocurrency according to data from Statista. Following the US, in the past week, Australia approved two new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to be listed on trading platforms. Furthermore, leading crypto exchange Coinbase announced its entry into Australia’s pension sector in May. 

From this perspective, the recent ban announcement can be viewed as Australia’s attempt to regulate and promote healthy crypto usage. 

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