The tiny Australian island in the South Pacific Ocean, Norfolk Island has had its gaming power to confer the trading licences revoked by the Australian Federal Government.
The announcement was made after it was discovered that the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority (NIGA) had issued a license to an illegal bookmaker. It is believed that NIGA had not done a proper background check before awarding gaming and betting rights to BetHQ, the online betting exchange.
The licensing of BetHQ gave it the right to enter the multi-billion dollar racing market in the country. The licenses that were issued before the announcement will not be affected. However, from now till the foreseeable future, the NIGA will not be issuing any licences. All licensing will be handled by the Australian boards until the audit into the NIGAs’ procedures and protocols have been finalised.
Australian Public figures furious about the gaming power debacle
Australia’s Minister of Territories, Paul Fletcher, is the one who revoked the gaming power of the small Australian Island. The leadership in the Australian Gaming industry has heavily criticised the move that could jeopardise the Australia’s gaming industry. Among the people who have publicly voiced their opinions, is Peter McGauran who is the chief of Racing Australia.
BetHQ received the betting rights on March 2015 as a legitimate business, but reports have recently surfaced that it is linked to Citibet, the world’s largest illegal betting operator. This made the authorities act very quickly as it will affect the racing and gambling industry’s reputation.