Bitcoin businesses based in Australia should monitor the steps being taken by the government when it comes to the use of cryptographic digital currencies like Bitcoin, specifically the tax and regulatory duties of the operators.
Recently, a guideline intended for businesses that process and transact bitcoins with its customers and employees has been published on the Australian government’s business information portal online. This details general information about the nature and risks of Bitcoin, as well as key announcements that are catered for business operators, including pointers on tax implications and Bitcoin salary.
Although this does not directly affect online gambling operators in Australia—something that is very unlikely to happen in the first place due to the Interactive Gambling Act—this may hint a start of what could be a strict regulation of the digital currency, and therefore, affect certain industries, including Bitcoin casino and gambling websites.
Currently, local bitcoiners rely on online exchanges and Bitcoin ATMs to buy bitcoins and exchange them for Australian dollars. These businesses like Bit Trade Australia and Bit2Bit will be covered by the new tax and business guidelines.
While the implications on the users’ end still remain to be seen, the operators, on the other hand, may absorb greater damage due to the possibility of Bitcoin to be double-taxed. Since the Australian Tax Office defined the digital currency as neither a kind of money or a foreign currency, Bitcoin may be subject to the Goods and Services Tax.
This may spell trouble since additional taxes may force local exchanges to discontinue their services, causing Bitcoin users in Australia to wholly rely on international exchanges instead.
As mentioned earlier, this does not have a direct bearing on the growth or fall of the Bitcoin casino industry in the country since players will always have other options to exchange their dollars and bitcoins. However, such impositions by the government can be a hindrance to the full Bitcoin adoption in the country.
Fortunately, though, the Interactive Gambling Act passed in 2001 does not prohibit Australians from engaging in any form of online gambling, and therefore, it is completely legal for the locals to wager on Bitcoin games, provided that they do not operate and provide Bitcoin gambling services online.