Australia moves to ban crypto and credit card gambling
Australian lawmakers have progressed a new bill that would see gambling with cryptocurrency and credit cards banned in the country, albeit with a short grace period for operators.
Crypto casinos have spiked in popularity over the past few years and one of the biggest sites of its kind on the planet, Stake.com, was co-founded by an Australian man named Ed Craven.
But gambling with cryptocurrency is increasingly being regulated around the world with countries trying to get to grips with how they should control the popular pastime. Many people now prefer to gamble with crypto as they can remain anonymous, avoiding having to share their financial information with online casinos and betting sites that can be targets for hackers.
Australians are said to lose AUD$25 billion a year gambling, with the move to ban betting with credit cards and cryptocurrency aiming to reduce this figure by a substantial amount. Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows this is the highest capita figure in the world.
The House of Representatives in Australia has now voted through legislation that would ban the use of credit cards and cryptocurrency for internet-based betting and gambling. The bill now moves through to the Australian Senate, where it will go through further stages of debate.
There would be a six-month transition period where operators would still be able to accept deposits using credit cards and cryptocurrency until the change to the law – the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023 – comes into effect.
Australia’s Labor and Liberal Parties both backed the move, which follows in the footsteps of credit cards previously being banned for use in land-based betting and gambling. The UK is among the other major nations in the world to have prohibited gambling via a credit card.
In Australia, should the ban on crypto and credit card gambling be approved by the Senate in the coming months, operators that fail to stick to the new rules could be hit by hefty fines. As much as AUD$234,750 will need to be paid out if operators fall foul of the newly made rules.
Leading members of Responsible Wagering Australia – a group that includes various industry powerhouses such as Bet365, Betfair, and Entain – previously indicated that they would support the ban on credit card betting. Banks including Bank Australia have already moved to block their Australian account holders from using their credit cards for gambling via the internet.