The gambling watchdog of the Northern Territory – the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) – has prohibited all cryptocurrency wagering.
This informal ban arrives only a couple of days after Australian gambling site Neds introduced bitcoin online wagering to its customers.
A Ground-Breaking Move Leading To The Ban
The Brisbane website gained a lot of media attention following this decision and even announced the plans to incorporate alternative coins. According to available information, the site, which was licensed last year, was fully prepared to start accepting bitcoin, and even to offer their players to make withdrawals in this cryptocurrency.
Neds announced it would even absorb more than 2% of the users' transaction fees.
Neds' Chief Executive Officer, Paul Cherry explained this decision by saying the company strongly believed in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a viable and secure method of online exchange and added the aim of the latest move was to ensure all Australians who shared the positive outlook on cryptocurrencies could use them to bet.
Cherry stated Ned had always prided itself on being a technology company and said this had been a natural step. As he explained, it was a technological solution, and it seemed very fitting that we integrated bitcoin or some other cryptocurrencies into casino platform.
He added the company thought there was a lot of crossover into that target market.
The Regulator Reacted Quickly
However, NTRC was quick to react, banning the use of cryptocurrencies for online wagering.
The Australian Financial Review published an email where NTRC explained its plans to send a formal announcement to sports bookmakers and betting exchange operators licensed in the Northern Territory, ordering them to immediately cease any cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum and the like) wagering operations.
The press has reminded that the Federal government has had a long history of what they call an “antagonistic stance regarding cryptocurrency”.
Since the ban in informal, technically speaking the operators are not obliged to do as they're told. However, those who fail to comply may lose tax advantages and even their license.