NT Racing Commission Requests Public Consultation on Implementation of Cryptocurrencies as Valid Gambling Payments

Daniel Williams

The Racing Commission of Australia’s Northern Territory, a sports betting regulatory body that is entitled to the oversight of the licensing platform for both brick-and-mortar and online betting operators in the state, is now making a request for public consultation on the use of cryptocurrencies as a valid payment method in the local gambling industry.

The use of cryptocurrency is becoming more widespread in the territory of the country. That is exactly why the gambling watchdog is now undertaking an ambitious plan to better understand the use of digital currencies and possibly implement it as a valid payment method as part of the sportsbooks’ checkout process. The last time when the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) commented on cryptocurrencies was in 2018. At the time, the regulator called for local gambling operators to avoid the implementation of cryptocurrencies as a payment option at their venues or online platforms.

The watchdog may have experienced a change of heart, as the popularity of digital assets has been rising over the last few years so that they have been strongly adopted by retail consumers. By making a request for public consultation on the use of digital currency in retail and online gambling, the regulatory body has hinted that there may have been a change in its attitude towards the issue. Still, the NTRC believes that the adoption of cryptocurrencies needs to be carried out with caution, considering the high volatility of the asset.

Digital Currencies in the Gambling Sector Caused Controversy

According to a statement published by the Racing Commission of the Northern Territory, the watchdog remains mindful of recent volatility in the value of cryptocurrency, as well as of the necessity to make sure that risks associated with it are properly identified and managed. The regulatory body hopes to be able to come up with a draft regulation that could provide the guidelines for the further implementation of digital currencies across the sector – first for settling payments and then, at a later stage, for making bets.

The NTRC shared that all interested parties are given until September 29th, 2022 to submit their feedback on the matter.

Cryptocurrency, however, has managed to win some bad fame globally. Recently, a $300-million investment scheme involving cryptocurrency has been caught by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Apart from that, US technology giants Google and Apple have also faced more and more criticism for making it possible for unsafe cryptocurrency applications, some of which have been involved in schemes to steal consumers’ money, to appear in their digital stores.

Especially in the gambling sector, cryptocurrencies have been mostly used as a payment method allowing operators to circumvent traditional payment methods. For example, offshore online gambling platforms use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to ensure a higher deposit and withdrawal clearance rate because conventional payment methods often end up bouncing or blocking payments. However, the possible change of heart of the Northern Territory Racing Commission to explore cryptocurrencies as a valid payment method is considered a demonstration that the regulator is willing to address ever-changing customer preferences.

For the time being, it still remains unknown whether digital currencies will be implemented as a valid payment option at retail and online sportsbooks in Australia.

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.

Daniel Williams

Author: Dale Alvarez