15th February 2018

Concern over Australian cryptocurrency sports betting sites

An Australian crackdown on cryptocurrency sports betting sites has failed to bring its most established crypto-wagering site to heel. JustBet is registered with the internet authority of Christmas Island, an Australian territory located in the Malay archipelago that has its own top-level domain (or internet country code), .cx.

The site offers live betting on a range of international sports and horse races, as a well as a number of casino games. Bets can be placed with bitcoin and US dollars. Despite the site being registered on Christmas Island, the site’s registrant is based in Panama City, while a trace of its IP address reveals the site’s server is based in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose, which is the global hub of the crypto-gambling industry.

Though it has little presence in the Australian betting market, JustBet is currently offering odds on a number of Australian competitions, including the upcoming Australian Football League (AFL) season and its new shortened format, AFLX. The country’s top level soccer and cricket matches are also available for betting.

Earlier this month, the Australian-licensed betting site Neds announced it would begin offering its customers the opportunity to bet using cryptocurrencies. That prompted an immediate response from the racing commission of the Northern Territory, the jurisdiction where the most of Australia’s online betting sites are registered, which called for an immediate cessation of all such crypto-wagering.

As JustBet is not registered with gambling authority of the Northern Territory, nor seemingly that of any other Australian jurisdiction, its site may violate the country’s Interactive Gambling Act, which prohibits gambling sites from offering live sports betting and gaming to customers based in Australia. The Sports Integrity Initiative is seeking a response from JustBet and the Christmas Island Domain Administration.

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