How Cryptocurrency Will Change the Payments Landscape in the Australian Online Betting Industry
The payment technology in Australia’s wagering industry has come a long way from raw trackside cash betting to a complex digital system.
Taking advantage of technological advancements and shifting consumer preferences, payment methods have undergone drastic changes, especially in the new millennium.
Civilisation naturally gravitates towards prosperity, and blockchain technology, with cryptocurrencies as its most popular application, embodies an innovative path toward economic advancement and financial empowerment.
But before we can understand crypto’s presence in the Australian betting market, we must take a short trip down memory lane.
The Evolution of Payment Methods in Australia’s Betting Industry
Horse racing has a special place in Australia’s sports betting culture. From the staging of the first event in 1810 until today, it has dominated proceedings.
Betting on horse races traditionally required bettors to be physically present at the tracks and make their bets in cash. In 1990, nearly 80% of all bets in Australia were still placed in hard cash.
However, people increasingly started recognising the risks of carrying large amounts of money and found the necessity to be present at the tracks tedious.
To make betting activities more convenient and expand accessibility, Australian betting providers embarked on a groundbreaking project around the turn of the century. That was the period of significant changes in the country’s betting culture as first online platforms hit the surface.
Virtually overnight, credit and debit cards became the go-to payment methods, accounting for approximately 45% of online transactions. However, this convenience did not come uncontested. Delayed transactions and fraud risks hindered the seamless flow.
With bank transactions taking anywhere between one and three days to process and the fraud rate for online betting platforms amounting to 1.8%, bettors sought new ways to make deposits. Their prayers came to fruition in the early 2010s, thanks to the emergence of e-Wallets.
PayPal, Skrill and Neteller triggered profound changes in the Australian betting landscape. By 2015, these digital wallets made up about 26% of all online gambling transactions in Australia.
They revolutionised the game, providing a two-factor authentication to reduce fraud risks while securing real-time transactions. However, risks involving cyber criminals and exposure to hacks have created the need for a new payment method.
The Future is Here
It has been 17 years since the world experienced the most severe global recession in the 21st century. American megabanks’ malpractice ran the world of finance into the abyss, causing mayhem in the economy not just in the United States but across the globe.
With people losing trust in the traditional banking system and seeking alternative ways to transfer funds, a new system emerged from the ashes of the 2007 meltdown. Powered by a revolutionary blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies have taken the world by storm.
Crypto technology has been one of the most popular, albeit controversial, subjects among professional investors and ordinary people alike in recent years. It is still a polarising matter, depending on which side of the spectrum of making or losing money one stands.
Stories of unimaginable wealth and overnight millionaires have turned the world of crypto into one of the most attractive investment opportunities. For tech-savvy investors, it has been a source of substantial gains. But for some, it has been a black hole that sucked their money in without a trace.
Scepticism has derailed a more comprehensive adoption of cryptocurrencies on a global scale. However, the gambling industry, one of the world’s most profitable businesses, has not only overcome suspicion but embraced the digital revolution.
You don’t need to look beyond the emergence of crypto casinos in the western world to understand how crypto is changing the evolving industry’s landscape.
Keen to keep up with this new megatrend, Australia has approached this matter open-mindedly and is ready to facilitate the integration of cryptocurrencies in its gambling ecosystem.
Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies at the Forefront of Revolution
Crypto still has a long way to go to become a mainstream payment method in Australia. With Aussies stripped of upwards of $221 million to crypto hacks in 2022, the hesitation among local online casinos and sportsbooks to advocate for cryptocurrency adoption is barely a surprise.
However, this has started to change. As numerous Australian betting platforms introduced cryptocurrencies among their regular payment methods, digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are in the driver’s seat to secure a foothold in the country’s gambling market in 2024.
If you look at the betting sites bonus offers, you will see most are still cash-tied. However, as Australians increasingly explore new betting options, the integration of cryptocurrencies is gaining attention as a safe and prudent choice for online wagering.
Privacy has become a privilege in modern society. And when it comes to online betting platforms, disclosing personal information to gain access was mandatory, at least until now.
While all leading online betting sites in Australia require ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) compliance, cryptocurrencies offer a way past this obstacle.
Heightened privacy is among the key advantages of cryptocurrency adoption in the betting industry. Customers rely on the blockchain’s cloak of secrecy to maintain anonymity instead of divulging personal information. Plus, blockchain’s transparent ledger ensures a clear record of all transactions, fostering accountability and a trustworthy environment.
Traditional banking systems have often proved sluggish and apathetic. Indeed, conventional payment methods usually incur substantial transaction fees, which, in turn, eat into potential winnings. By contrast, crypto transactions are near-instantaneous and, more importantly, cost-effective.
Cryptocurrencies take third-party intermediaries out of the equation. That leads to substantially lower transaction fees. With a third-party processor taking its cut, the blockchain-powered technology offers an attractive alternative to a tiresome banking system. And it gets better.
While the global economy contests the inflationary pressures that influence traditional currencies, cryptocurrencies continue to thrive behind the scene. Bitcoin’s limited supply provides immunity to inflation.
As global economies grapple with uncertainties during a recession, cryptocurrencies, acting as a potential safe haven, could soon ascend the online betting industry’s throne.