The Australian government has recently begun a crackdown on offshore gambling and it might mean big business for Bitcoin. The Interactive Gambling Act of 2016 is an amendment of the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 that was presented after Barry O’Farrell, a former south wales premier, released his own “Review of illegal Offshore Wagering” report. The amendment is expected to be concluded in the next few months and will be bracing down heavily on offshore gambling sites and services.
There have been debates that circle the issue of stricter penalties for businesses that market these offshore gambling products and services to Australians. They have also flirted with the idea of blocking payments to these sites by adding some regulation to the financial institutions that are inevitably involved in such an industry. This has created an opportunity for Bitcoin. While Australians look for offshore sites for the most recent money lines and the possibility of larger bets, they will have to use Bitcoin so ensure their payments are processed correctly.
This all came about after the report issued by Barry O’Farrell was released and drew light on the ambiguity of the initial Interactive Gambling Act. The review drew a lot of attention and Australian politicians where put in a position where they needed to fill the loopholes of the previous bill. This led to the Minister for Human Services to lead the charge on this new amendment.
Despite claiming the noble cause of problem gambling to have motivated this bill, the truth about this amendment finally came out. It was postulated to be about the Australian government’s inability to tax offshore gambling rather than the increasing likelihood of problem gambling in its citizens. The government just can’t claim a righteous piece of the revenue pie. Senator David Leyonhjlem was frustrated with the truth he saw to be true and commented “Screw the government and get a VPN.”
Because of this, a few huge offshore gambling brands have left the Australian market in fear that the Australian government will pass this amendment and thus put them in contention with their legal regulation in their home countries. Licensed bookies in Australia have faced restrictions on offering lines of credit and advertising in particular arenas. Bitcoin bookies, on the other hand, can offer these services as more people start to turn their heads in the way of the digital cryptocurrency.
The Australian government is even going to make the use of Bitcoin a lot easier in the country, coincidentally enough. They plan on removing the bitcoin double-taxation as revealed in the 2017 July 1st federal budget. Although the Australian government clearly has not done this with offshore gamblers in mind, they have, maybe accidentally, made it less expensive for those who wish to use the cryptocurrency at legally sanctioned offshore gambling websites that allow Aussie players.
You can learn more about the proposed amendment here: Interactive Gambling Act of 2016