Australian Bitcoin Sports Betting Site in the Spotlight

JustBet, an Australian-registered online sports betting site that allows its users to place bets with bitcoin is under investigation after a nudge from Andrew Wilkie, a Tasmanian independent Member of Parliament. JustBet is registered by the Christmas Island Administration (CIDA) that lists itself as the “administrator” for Australian islands territory’s web addresses that end in ‘.cx’.

The sports betting site offers live betting on AFL, AFLX, A-League among many other Australian sports in both US dollars and cryptocurrencies. JustBet also offers live and pre-match wagering on a range of international sports and a decent variety of popular online casino games.

While JustBet has an undeniable Australian link, the site itself is registered by a Panamanian and as revealed by a trace of its IP address, it is based in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose which also happens to be the hub of the international cryptocurrency gambling industry. Interestingly, the operation does not appear to be licensed by any of the gambling commissions in various Australian territories or states. This, according to legal experts, is a clear breach of the Australian federal Interactive Gambling Act that prohibits websites from offering such kind of online gambling to Australian bettors.

The Christmas Island Domain Administration (CIDA0, however, said that unless there is an official request from the authorities or a complaint from the public it could not deregister JustBet.

Not Good Enough

CIDA’s claim has not been accepted by quite a number of people, some of whom are in rather high places. One such person is Mr Wilkie who has been vocal in his advocacy for gambling reforms in the country. To him, CIDA’s statement was not enough to settle the issue.

“The site should be shut down immediately, and the Christmas Island Domain Administration should act straight away to remedy the situation,” he said.

Mr Wilkie’s call and subsequent reports of JustBet’s activities on the Sports Integrity Initiative website, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) eventually got wind of the situation and promptly announced that it had begun investigations on JustBet for violations of the Interactive Gambling Act.

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