A recovering gambling addict lost $300,000 to an online casino after the site showed him how he could use crypto to bypass banking restrictions and licensing laws.
Australian Blake Barnard was winning his fight against his gambling habit after his bank stepped in and canceled his casino deposits.
However, as detailed in an interview with ABC, once online betting platform Luckystar noticed the canceled deposits it emailed Barnard, recommending that he try using his Visa or crypto.
The casino pointed out that Barnard’s bank couldn’t stop him from depositing into the casino if he converted his money into crypto first. He subsequently exchanged $150,000 of his own money and $150,000 of his mother’s.
While it isn’t illegal to gamble in Australia, it is illegal to provide online gambling activities such as those found in a casino. Because of this, many casinos offer their services through offshore companies outside of Australian jurisdiction.
We have requested that Australian ISPs block more illegal offshore gambling websites, following ACMA investigations.
You can view the full list of blocked sites at https://t.co/4zTKt7IZId pic.twitter.com/GNZImJCEIj
— ACMA (@acmadotgov) December 14, 2022
Luckystar is one of 652 gambling sites now blocked following a request by regulators.
Read more: Crypto gambling livestreams to be banned from Twitch after $200K scam
Indeed, Luckystar is registered in Curaçao a country described by gambling experts as a place for cheap and speedy casino licenses. ABC spoke to journalists who claim it has “no regulation, no law enforcement, and no taxation at all.”
The site also supports the depositing of bitcoin and reportedly employs a quick sign-up process without the need for users to enter their address or country.
Barnard is now planning to take legal action against two online casinos operating in Curaçao, claiming that they failed to recognize or help prevent his gambling addiction. Luckystar didn’t respond to any of ABC’s questions.