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Australia To Ban Cryptocurrency Gambling


The Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC), the Australian regional gambling regulator, is set to ban gambling using cryptocurrency in Australia. NTRC is against adding cryptocurrencies to Australian Gambling Websites.

The chairman of the NTRC has reportedly sent out an informal email to all sports bookmakers and betting exchange operators in the Northern Territory asking them to immediately cease and desist from transacting in cryptocurrency.

The move comes days after Australian online gambling site Neds launched Australia's first dedicated bitcoin sports betting platform. Though the platform will allow bettors to deposit, wager and withdraw in the digital currency, it will not offer conversion into hard currencies.

The regulator's move followed the recent sharp fall in price of digital currencies, amid the latest negative developments in the crypto market.

These include ban of cryptocurrency ads by Facebook, and India as well as other regulators around the world taking strong stance against it. The price of bitcoin has more than halved from its all-time high around $20,000 in mid-December 2017. No different are other major digital currencies.

Banking majors around the world, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citi, and Lloyds Banking, have also banned their customers from buying cryptocurrencies using credit card.

Meanwhile, Australia's Brisbane airport last week joined with companies around the world to give legality for cryptocurrencies, even as regulators continue to take a cautious stand.

The airport recently partnered with local start-up TravelbyBit to launch the world's first digital currency airport terminal. As per the deal, decentralised blockchain-enabled payments could be made in shops, bars and restaurants on the premises of Australia's third busiest airport by aircraft movements.

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