Northern Territory Moves to Regulate Crypto Gambling

Northern Territory Moves to Regulate Crypto Gambling
Northern Territory Moves to Regulate Crypto Gambling

Cryptocurrency is about to join crocs and Kakadu as one of the three defining features of Australia’s Northern Territory, with plans afoot to include crypto betting as part of the Top End’s regulated gambling industry.

The Australian Northern Territory Racing Commission is looking for feedback from licensed gambling operators on how the regulatory landscape might evolve to allow crypto betting to take root in the NT.

With gambling in Australia regulated at the state and territory level rather than at the federal level, the NTRC oversees all betting activities that are licensed in Australia, including global concerns like Betfair, Entain Group and Draft Kings.

Contents made public

Julian Hoskins is the principal of Senet, Australia’s largest gambling law, regulatory and consulting firms. He saw a private document circulated among licencees and decided to reveal its contents:

Any licensee, for example a sports bookmaker licensed in the Northern Territory, who wants to accept cryptocurrency for billing or paying wages needs permission to do so. There are also conditions.

Julian Hoskins, Senet

“It’s clear from the conceptual framework they are looking at crypto gambling and not just exchanging [crypto]for fiat,” Hoskins said, noting that the two financial instruments are not interchangeable for gambling.

Given the popularity of crypto, I imagine it would be very popular as an alternative to fiat. It has the potential to be very useful.

Julian Hoskins, Senet

Other states likely to follow suit

Hoskins states that if the model works in the Northern Territory, other gambling regulators would likely follow suit. However, he also noted that strict identification requirements were proposed to ensure compliance with anti-money laundering regulations. Gamblers will likely need to verify their crypto wallet addresses and have any winnings sent back the same wallet that made the initial deposit.

According to the document, the NTRC has recommended monthly crypto deposit limits of A$2,000 for the first 12 months, with a maximum bet of A$5,000 per month.

Mindil Beach Casino, Perth, NT. Source:

Hoskins is a lawyer in the gambling industry and explained that local casinos will have to have crypto wallets that are sufficient to fully collateralise customers’ wagering amounts.

Hoskins stated that he wasn’t sure “how that would work”, referring to the tax implications of gambling with volatile crypto assets. This suggests that the NTRC is still looking into such issues.

This all comes just days after the recently elected federal government outlined its approach to crypto regulation, with Treasurer Jim Chalmers announcing a “token mapping” exercise that is expected to help “identify how crypto assets and related services should be regulated”.

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