Sunday 6. November, 2016

Norfolk Island Gaming Authority to Cease Operations

Following the release of a report from a two month investigation into the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority (NIGA), the Australian government has announced they will shut down the licensing authority for failing in its regulatory role.

In April, after it was revealed that NIGA issued a gaming license to BetHQ which was connected to controversial Asian betting exchange, CITIbet, Paul Fletcher, Australia’s Minister for Territories, banned NIGA from issuing any new online gambling licenses without approval from his ministry. At the same, time, Fletcher hired auditing company, Centium, to conduct an investigation into the authority.

Based on the final report released by the federal government on Saturday, federal minister for local government and territories, Fiona Nash, said there was no other option but to close NIGA.

“Gambling in Australia must be carefully regulated to ensure the integrity of our sport and to protect consumers,” commented Nash.

“Before arriving at this decision I asked Centium to undertake a further assessment to determine whether it would be possible to rectify the myriad of issues identified in the final report.”

“Centium’s report made it abundantly clear that the authority is beyond redemption and that these problems cannot be resolved satisfactorily. As a result, I am entirely confident that closing the authority is the right thing to do.”

Before the final report was even published, Ladbrokes Australia announced they would move their license from NIGA to the Northern Territory Racing Commission, which it did in September.

Betting agencies that are currently licensed with NIGA will be given until the end of March 2017 to find licenses in alternative jurisdictions in Australia. The federal government has agreed to cover the “small shortfall” in revenue this will result in for Norfolk Island.


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