26 June 2018

JustBet shuts down, reopens in Colombia

An illegal Bitcoin betting site registered on an Australian offshore territory has been shut down, following an investigation for The Sports Integrity Initiative and ABC News. It has, however, reopened in Colombia. 

As reported earlier this year, JustBet.cx was offering live and pre-match wagering to Australian customers, seemingly in breach of the country’s Interactive Gambling Act. Sports being offered included Australian domestic competitions such as the AFL and the A-League. 

The site used the internet country code of .cx, which belongs to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. However, the site was registered to an address in Panama, and its server was based in Costa Rica, the hub of the world’s offshore and bitcoin gambling industry. 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced it investigate the site for breaches of the Act, which prohibits live sports betting. The Act also prohibits operators unlicensed in the country from offering their services to Australian customers. 

Federal politician Andrew Wilkie told ABC that the site “should be shut down immediately”. Three days after a report by ABC News, it was announced that the site was changing its domain code to .co, which belongs to Colombia. 

Australian customers remain unable to use the site at its new address. JustBet and ACMA have both been approached for comment. 

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