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Australia is cracking down on online gambling by banning cryptocurrencies

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To protect its citizens from wasting money they don’t have, the Australian government has imposed a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies and credit cards for online gambling.

On June 11, the Canberra Times reported that Australia had begun banning the use of cryptocurrencies and credit cards for online gambling platforms.

The government announced that companies that do not adhere to the new rules could face fines of up to about 234,750 Australian dollars (155,000 US dollars).

The rules include credit cards tied to digital wallets, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), and other new forms of credit.

Australia bans the use of cryptocurrencies in gambling

The new rules for online betting are consistent with Australian laws relating to land-based gambling. However, there are exceptions, such as online lottery payments, which still allow credit cards.

Kay Cantwell, CEO of Responsible Wagering Australia, an independent organization of licensed gambling providers in Australia, believes the move makes it easier for people to control themselves. He said:

“This is an important measure to protect customers, making it easier for people to control their gambling behaviour.”

The executive also urged the government to extend the ban to include forms of gambling. Cantwell believes that if protection measures are not consistent across all forms of gambling, people “will move to less regulated forms of gambling, where they are more at risk of harm.”

The gambling industry has already received a six-month transition period, and a complete ban was imposed on June 11. The country’s communications watchdog has been empowered to impose the new restrictions.

Related: Australian MP says country needs blockchain ‘more than ever’

Cryptocurrency and gambling

Cryptocurrency users have been known to gamble on a wide range of things, from the latest meme to landmark regulatory decisions like approvals of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). On January 11, users of betting platform Polymarket bet $12 million on the outcome of ETF approvals.

Aside from the US spot Bitcoin ETF decision, cryptocurrency users also bet on the outcome of the Ether ETF decision. In March, bets on the ETH ETF decision reached $2.4 million. The bet was resolved when the ETF received official approval on May 23.

While cryptocurrency users make serious decisions, they also make trivial bets, like predicting how many times billionaire Elon Musk will post or guessing the temperature will rise in May.

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