Wagering in cryptocurrency might join the realm of legally sanctioned gambling if reports of discussions between the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) of Australia and gaming enterprises and license holders are true. The deadline for interested parties to submit their comments to the regulator is September 29.
The NTRC recently sent a piece of correspondence to all of the gaming companies that have valid licenses as part of their ongoing efforts. These gaming companies include well-known international gambling businesses like Betfair, Entain Group, and Draft Kings, among others.
The paper requests their comments on the viability of cryptocurrencies being used in gaming in the Northern Territory. In addition, licensees are asked for their input on the paper on the kind of legislative and industry reforms that would be necessary to make this a reality.
“What it provides for is a licensee, say a sports bookmaker who holds a license in the Northern Territory, who wants to accept cryptocurrency for striking or paying out wages, [is that they] need to apply for consent to be able to do that. And there’s certain conditions that attach to that.”
~ Julian Hoskins, the principal of Senet, one of Australia’s major gambling law and regulatory advisory firms.
At least for the time being, gamblers using one platform will have to make separate wagers in fiat currency and cryptocurrencies. This is because these two forms of currency won’t be able to be exchanged for one another while gaming.
The Tax and Legal Implications
According to sources close to these initiatives, the NTRC is also mulling over the subject of the tax implications of utilizing cryptocurrencies for gaming purposes. It will take a bit of time to understand the full scope of that but there are certainly a lot of potential solutions.
Nevertheless, the use of cryptocurrency in gaming would first need jumping over several legal hoops, such as adhering to strict identification criteria to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation. It is quite probable that gamblers will be required to have the addresses of their cryptocurrency wallets validated, and winnings will have to be withdrawn to the same wallet that was used to make the original deposit.
As is standard procedure in gaming that is based on fiat currency, local gambling enterprises will be legally obligated to have cryptocurrency wallets that store sufficient cash to adequately collateralize the wager amounts of their customers.