Australian Northern Territory Bans Cryptocurrency Wagering

This story was published more than 2 years ago.

This week the Northern Territory Racing Commission in Australia announced that they're banning cryptocurrency wagering for online betting, after a licensed site revealed that they were accepting the currencies Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The announcement came after the betting site Neds revealed that they were going to begin accepting cryptocurrencies as a way to keep the site up to date with the latest technology trends. At the time Neds CEO Paul Cherry said, "We've always prided ourselves on being a technology company. We're not just sports and racing enthusiasts and bookmakers - we're also programmers, analysts and computer nerds - so this felt like a natural step for us. And we think there is a lot of crossover into that target [crypto] market."

Neds use of the currencies only lasted a few days, as the regulator laid the hammer down. The regulator has sent letters to all operators in the area a notice telling that that if they're using crypto on their site to cease and desist immediately.

Australia has tightened their online gambling laws, causing many casino sites to abandon the country. Sportsbetting and racebooks are still licensed and legal, although it looks like further restrictions are being laid down in the country of 24 million.

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Jeremy Wilson // Senior Editor
Jeremy Wilson
Jeremy has senior editorial responsibilities across all areas of the site. He lives in Sydney, Australia and has been working with Casino Listings in various roles since its inception in 2007. His go-to game is Blackjack.
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krcoolsongss
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8 February 2018 - 6:03am
#1

Oh, it is a surprising news. In online casinos, they prepared the cryptocurrency deposit method probably late last year, so they started to install just a few weeks ago. Let's see how it goes with online casinos 🙂

auCL-Ed
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8 February 2018 - 7:22am
#2

Strange. I've never heard of these guys. Now I have I guess.

Maybe that is the point of what they were doing.

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usbarbadosslim93
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8 February 2018 - 1:51pm
#3

Ed, does Australia have overarching gambling laws or does it vary a bit by territory? Are some spots more lenient than others as to what they allow?

bgsharpe
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9 February 2018 - 7:11pm
#4

Quite ironic isn't it, I'm just curious if these guys were aware that using cryptos is against the rules or the rules were implemented just after that, in any case looks ironic but maybe Neds desrved it after being quite complacent in their statements, otherwise it's of course a bad thing for the local punters .

auCL-Ed
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10 February 2018 - 12:27am
#5

The laws here are a mess. Federally, it is illegal for an operator to accept Australian customers for gambling online, unless they are licensed in Australia. The government only allows licenses for sports betting and the old lotteries. No casinos or poker.

On the other hand there is no law saying that a player cannot play at an online casino if an operator is willing to let them. So no player can ever get in trouble for doing so as it is not illegal at all. There are still quite a few operators who allow Aussies to play. My guess is that they probably believe that they are not subject to Australian law seeing as they aren't in Australia. And our government is far less scary and belligerent than the U.S. government so they must figure that it is unlikely that there will be repercussions for them.

The laws on gambling online don't vary from state to state but only a couple of states license operators and I believe that they charge different tax rates.

As for the crypto situation, it is probably another case of reality being ahead of the legislation. There is no law saying that you cannot accept payment for anything in cryptocurrencies. This is a case of the regulator saying that they won't allow it, so if Neds continue to accept crypto they would possibly lose their license which means they can't operate. Neds could probably take it to court if they wanted to because I can't see how they are doing anything illegal so long as they are doing the proper KYC checks.

2 sharpe, Lambino

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zaLambino
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10 February 2018 - 2:45pm
#6

sounds exactly like the laws here in South Africa regarding online gambling with the exemption of SA not being able to follow through on the restrictions like Australia has been managing to do, all I can say is when you guys say something is officially restricted or illegal it really is unlike here in SA where where Illegal means "go ahead and do it anyway "

sharpe

bgsharpe
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11 February 2018 - 7:40pm
#7

Obviously it's not easy for the authorities elsewhere to implement a meaningful rules in the relatively young and fast developing world of the online gambling but not sound too sensible to me being punished after being 'caught' doing something....not exactly illegal.

Lambino