Norfolk Island Gaming Association closed by Australian Government

Norfolk Island closed by Australian Government

The Australian government is preparing to shut down the NIGA (Norfolk Island Gaming Authority) on the score of a research report concluding that the infrastructure was abundantly inoperative and lacking authority as a regulator.

Norfolk Island being an Australian racing jurisdiction, recently started licensing foreign casino operator Ladbrokes, allowing the company to operate in Australia. However, a couple of months ago its concession to allocate remote gambling licenses was inhibited by the Australian Government. The suspension was based on the revelation that NIGA had validated BetHQ – a gambling company operating on a white label arrangement with Citibet located in the Phillipines, the world’s biggest unlicensed gambling operator – to accept Australian bets. A decision from NIGA which has cost them the cup!

The decision to validate BetHQ to accept Australian bets resulted in the research which concluded that the jurisdiction’s practices were everything but transparent, not considering the risks of gambling and much needed regulation aiming responsible gaming. The report also determined that there were solid worries over conflicts of interests in appointments. The report said: “The authority and the former administration have been more concerned about raising revenue from gaming licenses than having due regard to its regulatory functions.” Centium’s report also added that: Basic control elements are not in place, such as: governance and reporting structures, a risk register, contracts with key personnel, segregation of duties, controls to prevent conflicts of interest, staff remuneration processes and policies and procedures”.

The Australian Minister for Local Government and Territories, Fiona Nash, concluded: ““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.”

Category:   Gambling industry