Australia’s Northern Territory considering crypto gambling regulation

If implemented successfully then other state gambling regulators could follow it is believed

A series of Australian National Flags flutter against a blue sky                                 
The Northern Territory Racing Commission is canvassing views on including crypto betting with its gambling licensees – Photo: Getty Images

Australia’s Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC), which acts as the state’s sports betting regulator, is discussing the possibility of including crypto betting with its gambling licensees as part of the regulated gambling industry.

Gambling is mostly regulated at state level in Australia and the NTRC manages gambling in the Northern Territory (NT).

It is understood the NTRC has sent private documents to its licensees, asking them for their input and feedback regarding what the regulatory landscape may look like if crypto betting was permitted in the NT.

This seems to signal a big change in the NTRC’s stance as almost five years ago it told sports betting operators to stay away from cryptocurrencies.

Other state regulators could follow

Julian Hoskins, a principal at Australian gambling law and regulatory advisory firm Senet, told CoinTelegraph that if this model goes to plan in the NT, then other state gambling regulators will likely follow.

Detailing the NTRC plans, Hoskins said: “What it provides for is a licensee, say a sports bookmaker who holds a licence in the Northern Territory, who wants to accept cryptocurrency for striking or paying out wages, [is that they] need to apply for consent to be able to do that. And there’s certain conditions that attach to that.”

Hoskins, who had access to the private documents, added that it is “clear” the NTRC is “looking at wagering using cryptocurrency, and not exchanging into fiat” – and he added that gamblers will want to place fiat and crypto bets separately on one platform.

He went onto say that “given the popularity of crypto, I would imagine that this would be very popular as an alternative to fiat. I think it’s got the potential to be quite material.”

Still pondering the tax issue

Hoskins was unable to offer any insight into the tax implications of using cryptos in gambling and explained he did not know “how that would be treated” and that the NTRC is most likely still contemplating the matter.

He also outlined that the NTRC has suggested monthly crypto deposit limits worth AUD2,000 ($1,380) for the first 12 months and a maximum wager of AUD5,000 ($3,450) a month.  

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