This is according to a new report from the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC), which found that 3.5% of Australians aged 18 and over have gambled with cryptocurrency in the last 12 months. This figure represents a significant increase from the 1.3% of Australians who reported gambling with crypto in 2016.
Australians have created a lot of crypto gambling sites at home and oversees, sometimes in faraway countries like Estonia, which has in recent decade become a real magnet for all sorts of top live & online casino related enterprises, so it’s possible that crypto is becoming a new form of gambling for Australians. After all, the country has seen a massive increase in the number of people investing in digital currencies over the past year. And with the recent volatility in the markets, it’s likely that some people are seeing crypto as a way to make quick and easy money.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with taking risks in order to potentially earn rewards. But it’s important to remember that cryptocurrency investments can be very volatile, meaning their prices can vary extremely in very short time periods, even hours. So if you’re thinking about investing in crypto, be sure to do your research and only invest what you can afford to lose.
Professional opinion on the trend
So, what is driving this trend? AGRC Director Dr Sally Gainsbury believes that part of the reason why crypto gambling is on the rise is due to the fact that it is a relatively new phenomenon.
“When something is new, there’s often more excitement and curiosity around it,” she said. “People might be trying it out because it’s new and different, rather than because they think it’s necessarily a better way to gamble.”
Another factor that may be driving the growth of crypto gambling is the anonymous nature of digital assets. This can make it appealing to those who want to gamble without their activities being tracked by traditional financial institutions.
“Cryptocurrency also provides opportunities for people to gamble anonymously, which might be appealing for some people,” Dr Gainsbury said.
However, she cautioned that gambling with cryptocurrency comes with its own risks.
“As with any form of gambling, there is a risk that people can lose money,” she said. “People need to be aware of these risks before they start gambling with cryptocurrency.”
The AGRC’s report comes as the Australian government is considering introducing new regulations for the cryptocurrency industry. While the details of these regulations are yet to be finalised, they are likely to include measures to crack down on money laundering and terrorism financing. Dr Gainsbury believes that such regulation could help reduce the risks associated with crypto gambling.
“If there are stricter regulations around cryptocurrency, it might make it more difficult for people to use it for gambling,” she said. “This could reduce the amount of money that is lost through gambling.”
At the same time, she cautioned that too much regulation could stifle innovation in the industry.
“It’s important to strike a balance between protecting consumers and allowing innovation to flourish,” she said.
The AGRC’s report is based on data from the National Gambling Survey, which is conducted every three years.