New gambling regulations started being talked about in Australia from 2017. The proposed amendments were found in the Interactive Gambling Act Amendment Bill of 2017. At the time, the government was under pressure to finalize the bill which would have seen the noose around offshore casinos which intended to open doors in Australia tighten. Well, in early February, the Australian gambling regulator Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) issued an informal ban against all cryptocurrency online betting. It particularly singled out Ethereum and Bitcoin.
It is worth noting that it was just a few days before the ban that one of the licensed sites by NTRC announced that it was finally offering Bitcoin to Aussies. While making the announcement, the CEO of Neds, an Australian online gambling site, Paul Cherry said that his casino believes that BTC and altcoins were a viable and secure method of online exchange. Aussies could share the positive outlook on cryptocurrencies to bet on the firm’s platform, he added.
Bitcoin gambling in Australia
Neds is a technology company and according to Paul Cherry, the company felt that because it considered itself more of bookmakers, racing enthusiasts, analysts, programmers and computer nerds, it was only natural that it include BTC on its platform. He also felt that the time to crossover into the crypto market was high.
Upon making the announcement, every online casino and cryptocurrency fan, as well as regulatory government agencies, had to notice. This announcement meant that Neds would have become a first among equals to accept BTC. Neds had even made plans to embrace other cryptos and it would absorb the 2% transaction fee which its users would have been charged. This would have been an ideal opportunity for the people who hold BTC coins especially after acquiring them in the recent market hype.
A few days after the announcement, NTRC came rushing in with the ban. Neds was forced to redirect all its online traffic for crypto.neds.com back to its official platform. The casino had to remove all traces of crypto on its pages following the NTRC directive.
According to www.casinopånett.eu article, a formal communiqué to all sports bookmakers and betting exchange operators licensed in the Northern Territory would be issued with a cease and desist order. The communiqué would apply if a casino was already transacting in crypto for their wagering operations.
It seems that Australian government has had an antagonistic stance with regards to digital currency. The government has gone to such lengths as to place limits on already licensed players from competing with international wagering firms online. The government has restricted broadcast ads and all poker and other games ads. The consequence for any business which refuses to acknowledge and adhere to the warnings such as one above is the risk of losing favorable tax advantages and even their licenses.