Australia: Northern Territory Gaming Commissioners Reportedly Exploring Crypto Gambling Regulation

Australia: Northern Territory Gaming Commissioners Reportedly Exploring Crypto Gambling Regulation

The Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) of Australia is reportedly in talks with gambling companies and license holders about allowing crypto, meaning crypto wagering could become a component of the regulated gambling industry. Stakeholders are being given time until September 29 to provide the regulator with their feedback on the issue.

According to reports, the proposal “will allow wagers to be placed in crypto with no fiat exchange required,” says Forbes India. In Australia, gambling is mostly regulated at the state level. The NTRC is in charge of all gambling and wagering companies licensed in Australia’s Northern Territory (NT), including global giants such as Betfair, Entain and DraftKings.

Local media reports indicate the NTRC recently sent license holders a document soliciting their feedback on the potential for crypto gambling in the Northern Territory and on what regulatory and industry changes would they see as required to make this move possible. However, this draft does not provide assurance that the body will ultimately support crypto.

According to Cointelegraph, Julian Hoskins, the principle of Australian gambling law and regulatory advisory firms Senet, said that what the document outlines is that a licensee who wants to accept crypto for striking or paying out wages “would need to apply for consent to be able to do that,” with “certain conditions” that attach to that.

While it is still unclear whether crypto will ultimately enter the gambling space, the move gives operators the opportunity to weigh in, further allowing them to provide feedback on additional measures. “Now it’s clear from the draft framework that what they’re looking at is wagering using crypto and not exchanging into fiat,” Hoskins further commented about the document.

Punters would most likely need to place fiat and crypto bets separately on the one platform, as the two financial tools aren’t likely to be interchangeable with each other for gambling, reports Cointelegraph. Hoskins further said that while the prospect of allowing crypto is hard to quantify at this stage, given the increasing interest in the currency, it could be “a very popular alternative” to fiat.

Operators in the Northern Territory have until September 29 to present their views, with the regulator wanting to know whether they would be interested in allowing customers to make crypto deposits and withdrawals. The NTRC is also reportedly deliberating on the issue of the tax implications of using crypto for gambling.

Still, the implementation of crypto for gambling would first imply clearing a series of regulatory hurdles, such as stringent identification requirements to keep in line with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Gamblers would likely need to have their crypto wallet addresses verified, with winning to be withdrawn back to the same wallet that made the initial deposit.

Reports indicate the NTRC has also recommended monthly crypto deposit limits of AUD 2,000 ($1,392) for the first 12 months. It is believed that other state gambling regulators would likely follow the NTRC if this initiative in the Northern Territory succeeds, Forbes India adds.

The NTRC consultation paper marks the first indication by an Australian gambling regulator of openness to consider the use of cryptocurrency for gambling. To date, Australians wishing to utilize crypto in gambling must do so through illegal offshore operators.