Sports betting website JustBet is being investigated for alleged breaches of Australia’s interactive gambling law, following reports that it “pretended” to be registered to operate in the country.
JustBet offers cryptocurrency- and U.S. dollar-based live betting on Australian sports such as the Australian Football League (AFL), the AFLX, and the A-League; live and pre-match betting on international sports; and an array of online casino games.
An ABC News report noted that the sports betting site was registered by a Panamanian and its IP address was traced to San Jose, Costa Rica. In Australia, JustBet wasn’t licensed by gambling commissions in any of the states or territories, although it was registered by the Christmas Island Domain Administration (CIDA), an administrator for “.cx”-ending web addresses in the Australian island territory, according to the report.
This prompted Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie to call for the site to be “shut down immediately” as it breached the federal Interactive Gambling Act, which prohibits online gambling websites from providing unlicensed interactive gambling services like cryptocurrency-based betting, among others.
CIDA, however, said it needed a request from authorities or a complaint from the public before it could de-register the JustBet site.
Online gambling watchdog Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) told the news outlet that it has started an investigation on the site’s operations. Under the amended Act, the ACMA has the right to apply to the Federal Court to impose civil penalty orders and injunctions against lawbreakers as well as the authority to contact gambling regulators in other jurisdictions if one of their licensees is in violation of Aussie law.
According to an ACMA spokesperson, the online gambling watchdog has a publicly-available register of interactive wagering service providers that are licensed in the country, and those “that are not included on this register are likely to be provided to Australian customers illegally.”