Australia Implements Ban on Credit Card Betting

Australia has extended its ban on credit card betting to include digital wallets and cryptocurrencies. This new regulation, effective as of June 11, prohibits Australians from placing bets using borrowed funds or anonymous digital currencies like Bitcoin.

The recent amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 aligns online betting rules with those of physical casinos, which already prohibit credit card use. However, this ban does not extend to online lotteries, which still accept credit card payments.

Kai Cantwell, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia, advocates for expanding the ban to cover all forms of gambling. “This is an important measure to protect customers, making it easier for people to stay in control of their own gambling behavior,” Cantwell stated.

Government’s Stance and Future Regulations

Last year, lawmakers approved the amendment to the Interactive Gambling Act, mandating that gambling providers stop offering certain online services in Australia. Providers were given a six-month transition period to comply with these new regulations. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines of up to AU$234,750 (approximately $155,000).

The communications regulator now has increased authority to enforce these restrictions. Furthermore, the federal government is considering a proposal to phase out gambling advertisements over the next three years. This was one of 31 recommendations from a parliamentary inquiry into gambling issues in Australia.

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Communications Minister Michelle Rowland emphasized the government’s commitment to preventing gambling with borrowed funds. “Australians should not be gambling with money they do not have,” she said.

Previously, Australia’s online casino market thrived with the acceptance of digital currencies like Bitcoin. These cryptocurrencies appealed to gamblers due to their fast and anonymous transaction capabilities. In 2019, a study found that 30.7% of Australian gamblers used cryptocurrencies for online gaming.

Recently, Australian tax authorities have intensified efforts to track millions of crypto investors, demanding personal information and transaction details from crypto exchanges. This move signifies a broader crackdown on the use of digital currencies for gambling and financial activities.

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