Some of the first companies to adopt cryptocurrency use were online casinos. These companies enjoyed the cheap transfer of currency between sides which was much quicker than some of the services that are offered currently, and the users found the fact that the funds could not be traced to one source or another quite attractive. As the pioneers within the industry, the casinos were able to explore the potential of cryptocurrencies as payment systems and were able to further implement them into their fabric, introducing cryptocurrency gambling into the industry; casinos with Bitcoin-games that allowed the use of cryptocurrencies in order to play with, and some casinos even created their own cryptos to play with on the platform. The variety of ways that casinos started using this new technology was one of the first showcases of how versatile and interesting the technology is and how much potential it holds for the future of a large number of industries.
It is a shame then that the cryptocurrency world has also become a source of new income for a number of scammers, around the world and specifically in Australia. In the year 2018, many people have already fallen to different kinds of scams, but one scam has taken the world by the storm in recent years. Once the heroes of the crypto industry, now casinos are slowly becoming the victims of it, or to be more precise, the victims of scammers within it. In 2018, a large number of cryptocurrency scams appeared in Australia. These scams would pose as international casinos (to bypass local online casino regulation) and allow users to gamble with cryptocurrencies they purchased on their online slots and other games. Such gambling resulted in the victims of the scam losing a couple of hundred million US dollars worth of cryptocurrency throughout the year. And while it might not be the most malicious kind of scam in the cryptocurrency world, it certainly became one of the most damaging.
The far-reaching damage
While scams are generally a dangerous tool in the arsenal of criminals, few have been as dangerous as those devised within the cryptocurrency world, and fewer still have been as damaging to the industries they operate in than the one we are talking about here. The scams that were operating throughout 2017 and 2018 resulted in a bit less than Five hundred million dollars of loss to the Australian people and specifically those who became victims of these scams. This is some action will be taken in the near future in order to stop these scams from damaging the people who fall for them as much as they do. What kind of measures will be taken is totally up to the governmental agencies that are responsible for creating such controls for such situations, but the truth of the matter is that the resulting legislation and regulation will not be only there to stem the proliferation of scams, but will also result in damage to legitimate casinos that operate with cryptocurrencies.
Australia is already pretty harsh with how it treats online casinos, with a huge amount of legislation levied upon them. Online casinos originating in Australia are not even allowed to offer their services to the Australian people. Only foreign originating companies are able to do so, and even they have to comply with a large set of rules and regulations associated with operating within the confines of the country. Minimum operating capital, user protection, so on and so on are already rather expensive within the legal framework, and with new regulation, designed to combat the issue of casino scams within the country, is not going to make the creation and operation process any cheaper.
Combine this with the fact that cryptocurrency legislation will, as a result of the years of abuse, going to get stricter, and you have yourself a rather bleak scenario for the few Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-friendly online casinos operating within the AU borders. After all, operating with cryptocurrencies is not a cheap endeavor. The amount of time and investment it takes to develop software that can operate with cryptocurrencies, games that are crypto oriented, as well as professionals who need to dedicate their time to managing the crypto funds, is already rather high. If additional regulation means that more requirements are piled onto companies, it might be a good idea for them to quit operating, as they are currently, altogether. Sometimes the cheaper alternative and the more profitable alternative is to seize operations after all.
The damage remains, only if it is allowed to
So, is there a solution to this problem that does not result in overall damage to everyone? It is not our prerogative to come up with such solutions, but we feel like there might be something that can be done. Specifically, for ACMA, ASIC and so on to start taking a bigger responsibility in regulating casinos and looking for them. Right now, the all-encompassing requirement to be from a foreign state is like a transfer of responsibility that does not entirely work. A good way to go about the process was to either increase the awareness of the citizens of what makes a legitimate casino or to try and find the casinos that are marketed to users and see if they are indeed legitimate. There is no need to sacrifice the crypto casino industry in order to achieve safety for the rest of the population when a little bit of effort might be just enough to provide the safety for the entirety of the population.