Australia Bans Bitcoin Gambling

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February 10th, 2018
Back Australia Bans Bitcoin Gambling

At one point in the Australian online gambling realm, things seemed to be going well for Bitcoin – a needed break after a very poor start of the year for the leading cryptocurrency, whose phenomenal 2017 will obviously not be repeated in 2018. In a matter of days, it all went down the toilet, so to speak. So, what happened?

A few days ago, one of the online casino operators officially licensed by Australia's gambling authority, Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC), Neds, has made an announcement stating that it has accepted Bitcoin as one of the currencies on their site and that their clients will now be able to deposit and withdraw with it. Much pride ensued, with CEO, Paul Cherry, stating that Neds was never only about sports, racing and bookmakers – that they were also always a technology company, “programmers and computer nerds,” and that they wanted to “ensure that Australians who share their positive outlook on cryptocurrencies can use them to bet with them.”

There was a lot of praise aimed at Neds for becoming the nation’s first operator to offer the digital currency to their clientele as the website even went on to look forward and plan on adopting more virtual currencies in their ranks. Cherry stated: “It is a technological solution, and we see ourselves as tech guys, so it seems very fitting that we integrate bitcoin or some other cryptocurrencies into our platform. A lot of people may be non-sophisticated investors who have acquired some bitcoins during the recent hype and are probably wondering what to do with them.”

But then something happened and everything changed.

Neds' website has deleted all traces of the currency from their site after the following notice on their page was posted: “Our site is currently offline pending further instruction from NT Racing Commission.”

Apparently, NTRC was planning to, “issue a formal communique to all sports bookmakers and betting exchange operators licensed in the NT if currently transacting in cryptocurrency (for example Bitcoin, Ethereum and the like) for their wagering operations to immediately cease and desist,” part of an e-mail obtained by “The Australian Financial Review.” In other words, the government of Australia has adopted a negative stance towards Bitcoin – presumably after the cryptocurrency's big downfall since the start of this year and the fact that transactions are being halted worldwide. The local press has described it as an “antagonistic stance regarding cryptocurrency.” In meantime, even the operators licensed with international wagering regulations are being limited on Australian soil, while Bitcoin ads are prohibited altogether. Operators who do not obey the NTRC's latest directives are risking losing their licenses.

This is just one in the string of bad news that has hit Bitcoin in the last month or so. What do you think this signifies? Is this the beginning of the end for the cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments and watch this space as we continue to cover the events of Bitcoin's turbulent start of the year.

Source:

“Australia to Ban Bitcoin Gambling”, Kelso Edward, bitcoin.com, February 6, 2018.

“Bitcoin ads are prohibited altogether”

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