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Australia Bans Various Forms of Gambling with Crypto and Credit Cards

Summary:
The Australian government has banned its users from indulging in online gambling, imposing fines of up to AU4,750 on platforms that accept credit cards or crypto from users going forward. While this regulation will affect most forms of online gambling, some, like online lotteries and keno, will remain unbanned. The move comes as a way to protect users from throwing their money at luck-based games, as gambling can be very addictive. With numerous online platforms mushrooming worldwide and crypto becoming a staple in utilizing them, Australian regulators took the step to control the rapid rise in the country’s gambling statistics. Australian Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said, “Our government takes seriously our responsibility to prevent and reduce harm from online

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The Australian government has banned its users from indulging in online gambling, imposing fines of up to AU$234,750 on platforms that accept credit cards or crypto from users going forward. While this regulation will affect most forms of online gambling, some, like online lotteries and keno, will remain unbanned.

The move comes as a way to protect users from throwing their money at luck-based games, as gambling can be very addictive. With numerous online platforms mushrooming worldwide and crypto becoming a staple in utilizing them, Australian regulators took the step to control the rapid rise in the country’s gambling statistics.

Australian Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said, “Our government takes seriously our responsibility to prevent and reduce harm from online wagering.” The ban’s execution stems from the Interactive Gambling Amendment (Credit and Other Measures) Bill 2023. Having been approved in December last year, the bill gave digital gambling platforms about six months to prepare for the ban.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) will step in if any platform abuses the ban, acting as the watchdog to keep online gambling in check and issuing steep fines to disobeyers. Michelle Rowland, Australian Communications Minister, mentioned, “Australians should not be gambling with money they do not have.”

While the ban and the appointment of a watchdog over gambling activities is a step in the right direction, the way the ban works may not address the issue fully. The CEO of Responsible Wagering, Kai Cantwell, spoke to The Canberra Times and said, “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.”

Later this year, the Australian government will also set rules for gambling-like elements within video games. It will restrict video games comprising loot boxes and other luck-based items and scenarios to individuals over eighteen years of age. Furthermore, games with in-game purchases will only be available to mature audiences.

Image by beasternchen from Pixabay

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