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Bitcoin Sports Betting Site Under Investigation in Australia

Australian authorities have announced that Bitcoin-based sports betting website, Justbet, is currently the subject of an investigation. The website represented itself as Australian by registering its domain in an Australian Island territory, however, Justbet’s IP address can be traced to Costa Rica.

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Bitcoin Betting Website Under Investigation for Misrepresenting Location

Bitcoin Sports Betting Site Under Investigation in AustraliaThe Justbet website is registered by the Christmas Island Domain Administration (CIDA). CIDA claims to be a community-owned non-profit company that provides internet services to the citizens of Christmas Island – an Australian external territory.

By using a ‘.cx’ address, Justbet is able to give the impression that it is subject to Australian regulation. The website, however, was registered by a Panamanian, and IP address trace indicates that the company is based in San Jose, Costa Rica. The company does not appear to be sanctioned by any of Australia’s gambling commissions.

The investigation into Justbet has been prompted by calls from Tasmanian minister, Andrew Wilkie. Following Mr. Wilkie reporting Justbet to the Sports Integrity Initiative, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) revealed that it had launched an investigation into the company regarding potential breaches of Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act.

Justbet Likely in Violation of Australian Law

Bitcoin Sports Betting Site Under Investigation in AustraliaAn ACMA spokesperson has stated that the Interactive Gambling Act prohibits “unlicensed regulated interactive gambling services, such as online wagering services provided without a license issued by an Australian State or Territory” from being offered in Australia.

The spokesman also stated that “The ACMA has published a register of interactive wagering service providers that are licensed by an Australian state or territory,” adding that “Interactive wagering services that are not included on this register are likely to be provided to Australian customers illegally.”

CIDA had previously indicated that it could not de-register Justbet without a request being made by local authorities,or the lodging of a formal complaint by a member of the public. “The site should be shut down immediately, and the Christmas Island Domain Administration should act straight away to remedy the situation,” Mr. Wilkie said earlier this week.

Do you think that bitcoin gambling will become an increasing target of regulatory action? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, acma.gov.au


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Tags in this story
Acma, Andrew Wilkie, Australia, Australian Communications and Media Authority, Betting, Bitcoin, Christmas Island, Investigation, just bet, justbet, N-Economy, Site, Sports, Under, website, Wilkie
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Samuel Haig

Samuel Haig is a journalist who has been completely obsessed with bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012. Samuel lives in Tasmania, Australia, where he attended the University of Tasmania and majored in Political Science, and Journalism, Media & Communications. Samuel has written about the dialectics of decentralization, and is also a musician and kangaroo riding enthusiast.