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Australia has taken another step to protect its citizens from the impact of online gambling. As of June 11, the use of cryptocurrencies and credit cards for internet gambling is banned in the country. The decision is part of an ongoing effort to prevent people from spending money they don’t have and falling into financial trouble.

The ban, announced by The Canberra Times, is not just restricted to traditional credit cards, but also includes popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and new forms of credit linked to digital wallets. Betting companies that fail to comply with the new rules could face severe fines, up to A$234,750 (approximately US$155,000).

Australia tries to face problems with out-of-control betting

This change aligns the rules for online betting with those that already exist for physical betting. However, there are exceptions, such as online lottery payments, which still allow the use of credit cards.

Kai Cantwell, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia, an independent organization representing licensed betting service providers, believes these measures will facilitate self-control among punters. According to Cantwell, the measure is important to protect customers by helping them maintain control over their betting behavior.

Furthermore, Cantwell suggested that the government should extend the ban to all forms of betting, without exceptions. He argues that if protective measures are not consistent, players may move to less regulated types of games where they are at greater risk of harm. The concern is that players may migrate to overseas betting platforms, which are not subject to the same strict regulations as Australia.

The betting industry was given a six-month transition period to adapt to the new rules, which came into force on June 11. Australia’s communications watchdog will enforce these new restrictions.

Has gambling of any kind become a problem?

The use of cryptocurrencies in betting has been a common practice among enthusiasts of this type of currency. They bet on a wide variety of events, from the approval of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to the outcomes of important regulatory decisions. For example, in January, users of the Polymarket betting platform bet $12 million on the outcome of the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the United States.

Furthermore, cryptocurrency users also bet on less serious events. This includes, for example, the number of times billionaire Elon Musk will post on his social networks or predictions about temperature increases in certain months. In March, bets on a spot Ether ETF decision reached $2.4 million. The bet was settled when the ETF received official approval on May 23.

Gambling experts highlight that migration to unregulated platforms can increase players’ risks of fraud and exploitation. Foreign platforms often operate without necessary oversight, which can result in greater exposure to fraudulent practices and financial exploitation.

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