Welcome to Bitcoin Gambling where we cover the best bitcoin gambling websites that include facilities for casinos, poker and sports betting.
About Bitcoin Gambling
Bitcoin has brought about a revolutionary change in online gambling, poker and sports betting. With its increasing popularity among gamblers, its acceptability in online gambling site, poker site and in sports betting is also increasing rapidly. This article provides an overview of Bitcoin and Its use in gambling, poker and sports betting.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency. It is not controlled by gold, any bank or any government. This currency is decentralized, digital and global. Unlike traditional money, bitcoin is created on distributed computer networks. It is traded online on a computer or smart mobile phone. It is bought through wire transfers or cash at online BTC exchanges or at online deposit platforms (at current exchange rates) or from other people in person (by negotiating the exchange rate). Bitcoin is also called as mining. Mining can be done through buying a mining rig and by joining mining pools.
Bitcoin miners create new bitcoin and maintain the security of the bitcoin system. Transactions made with bitcoins are verified by public. When multiple users of bitcoin endorse a bitcoin transaction made between two parties then that particular transaction is recorded in the general ledger.
Bitcoin is stored online, on a computer or a smartphone in the bitcoin app in an electronic wallet. Online storage means the bitcoins will be in a web server. The wallet is secured through address and keys to which only the owner of the wallet has access. Since this is online there is always a risk of falling prey to hackers.
People who do not want to store bitcoin online can store in a cold storage to protect from hackers. Many software bitcoin wallets have the option of a cold storage.
Although the whole idea of bitcoin is that it is an electronic form of money, an owner can store it physically as well. In this case, the owner will have the key and address in a physical form, usually in a paper. There are physically minted bitcoins available as well.
One aspect of bitcoin that makes it completely different from traditional transaction is the anonymity of users. The traditional concept of Know-Your-Customer does not apply for bitcoins. In bitcoin transactions, only Wallet IDs are shared and the true identity of users are never revealed. Due to its anonymity feature, it has become a popular means for illegal transactions.
Birth of Bitcoin
Bitcoin came into existence in 2008 through its inventor Satoshi Nakamoto (Pseudonym) as a domain bitcoin.org and the first bitcoin protocol was launched in 2009. Bitcoin is open source software which means it is open to anyone who wants to improve its design.
Use of bitcoin for gambling online has gained significant popularity in recent years due to several benefits. The features of bitcoin that attracts online gamblers most are instant deposit and withdrawal, anonymity and low stakes. These features have made online gambling easy and quicker. Following is a detailed explanation of why bitcoin has become popular in the online gambling industry:
Anonymity is a huge plus point of bitcoin. The users can keep their identities and personal information anonymous which is not possible in traditional gambling. As long as the user can prove that he/she can make payment or honor obligations, the user can play
Traditional money controlled by banks cannot be used in an unlimited amount. Banks usually have a set limit for each customer and transaction beyond that limit will not be allowed. However, if bitcoin is used in online gambling, there will be no limits for withdrawals and deposits. This makes gambling more addictive
In bitcoin gambling, transaction takes place through transfer of bitcoin from one peer to another. This feature makes transactions a lot less complicated than transactions with traditional form of money. In relation to time of transaction, it only takes minutes to process the transfer of money and therefore users can keep playing without long term interruption or interference
Lower cost of Transactions
There is no third party involved in the transaction of bitcoin and therefore processing transaction is cheaper and casino charges are lower compared to traditional scenario
There is no currency exchange issue as well as geographical boundaries. Therefore, bitcoin literally makes the gambling sites global playground where people from any corner of the world can participate as long as they have a bitcoin account.
Bitcoin for Poker
At present only few online poker sites have the option to use bitcoin. Bitcoin is increasingly replacing traditional currencies at online poker sites. With the popularity of bitcoin, the number of poker sites that use bitcoin is also increasing. Online poker can be played using bitcoin through three ways:
Poker Sites Exclusively for Bitcoin
There are online poker sites such as Bitcoin Poker that accept only bitcoin. People who already have bitcoin wallets can join immediately. For others, they need to open a bitcoin wallet first before they can register in the bitcoin-only-poker sites. Once they register, they can move bitcoin from their bitcoin wallets to online poker sites. Registered players will each have a unique deposit address to deposit or transfer their bitcoin. Some other bitcoin-only-poker sites are Fortune Jack and SWC poker.
Poker Sites with Both Traditional and Bitcoin Payment Options
Many poker sites accept bitcoin as another payment option besides traditional options of online payments such as credit card, debit card and PayPal. To be able to use these sites, a player who wishes to play simply has to choose bitcoin as his/her payment option when they log into their poker account. The system shows payment amount in US dollars. Once the player mentions the amount he/she is willing to pay, the system converts the money from US dollar into bitcoin. If the player’s bitcoin wallet charges miner’s fees, he/she should include this amount while mentioning the deposit amount in order to avoid cancellation of transactions. Some of the poker site that have the option of making payment in bitcoin are BetOnline poker, Black Chip Poker, ACR Poker, Switch Poker, Red Star Poker.
Payment through Neteller
Neteller is one of the common payment methods in online poker sites. Neteller has integrated bitcoin in their payment system and therefore it is possible to make payment in bitcoin using Neteller. However, in this case the transaction will be a little lengthier. The player will have to transfer funds from bitcoin account to Neteller account. Then the player will have to make payment using Neteller account. However, the integration of bitcoin is only for deposits. The player will not be able to transfer funds back to Bitcoin wallet from his/her Neteller account. In this case, the player will have to withdraw his/her funds from Neteller account. Some of the online poker sites that has the option to make payment using bitcoin through Neteller are 888 poker, Bwin Poker, Titan Poker, William Hill.
The poker sites that run exclusively on bitcoin have been said to have lower operating costs compared to poker sites running on traditional money. The bitcoin-based-poker sites can also offer better reward structures and rake rates.
Bitcoin for Sports Betting
Another major of wave of bitcoin can be seen in sports betting or gambling. There are a growing number of sports books that accept bitcoin to make deposits for sports betting. Some of the bitcoin sportsbooks are Cloudbet, Nitrogen Sports, and Bitcoin Sports. Bitcoin are becoming popular in sports betting due to following reasons:
- In traditional sports betting, the player will have to take the odds placed by the house or not place a bet. In bitcoin betting exchange, the betters can place odd themselves. Betters also have the option to accept odds placed by another better. This means betters can support odds they consider as advantageous.
- Fees for betting with bitcoin are significantly lower compared to betting or wagering in the traditional betting. The rate offered by bitcoin betting exchange is only 2% compared to the traditional rate of 5% – 16%.
- Usually setting up account to place with bitcoin is easy. However, some sites do not even require setting up account since bitcoin users each have unique address for their wallets and their bet can be traced without an account. Bitcoin users can transfer amount to the address designated for a certain bet or odds. If the better or user wins the bet, the reward can be sent to the address he/she used to place the bet.
- The sportsbook based on bitcoin can process withdrawal requests faster than sportsbook based on fiat or traditional money. The withdrawal procedure for sportsbook based on bitcoin only takes a few hours or at the maximum a few days. In comparison, sportsbook based on traditional money can take several business days to process withdrawal requests. Moreover, the withdrawal money usually comes through bank wires or checks which again require a fee to be processed. Faster methods of payment such as Western Union costs even higher processing fees than bank wires and checks.
- Many of the sportsbooks based on traditional money need documentations such as bank statements, utility bills, scanned copies of debit and credit card to process withdrawal request. The documentation are usually requested to verify identity and for protection against fraud. These requirements make the withdrawal process time consuming and daunting for both the clients and the sportsbooks. Sportsbooks based on bitcoin can avoid all of these hustles.
Problems of Bitcoin Gambling/Bitcoin In General
- Bitcoin is more instable compared to traditional money. Since the value of Bitcoin keeps changing, the bitcoin gamblers continuously have to keep themselves updated about the changes in its price in order to be able to reap the maximum profit from gambling
- Online accounts based on bitcoin can be hacked if the bitcoin user fails to take protective measures for his/her bitcoin wallet
- Since there is no withdrawal or deposit limit in bitcoin gambling, gambling becomes uncontrollable and dangerous. People can lose their last penny if they keep gambling using bitcoin
- Bitcoin has the potential to help criminals in making their transactions easier to hide from regulatory bodies and therefore making illegal activities easier
- Many users of bitcoin have been deceived by gambling sites that did not have the authority or license to use bitcoin but lured people into it anyway. Many bitcoin users lost money due to this fraudulent acts of some gambling sites
- Since Bitcoin are digital money stored in computer, incident such as hard-drive crash can lead to the loss of the bitcoin wallet completely. There has been a report of a bitcoin user who lost 50,000 bitcoin due to such an incident
Reaction of Different Countries towards Bitcoin/Bitcoin Gambling
The reaction towards bitcoin in general or bitcoin gambling differs from one country to another. Following are some of the examples:
- Countries such as Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Costa Rica offer licenses for bitcoin casinos. The condition to obtain the license from these countries is to host or operate their services in those locations. Regardless of the conditions, obtaining a license can help the bitcoin gambling service provider to gain credibility to their customers. However, they might not be able to offer their services worldwide because their license alone will not provide them with the right to offer service or to make profit from citizens of other countries
- The United States passed The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. According to this law, it “prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.” However, there is no specific law in USA that prohibits USA citizens from gambling with bitcoin at bitcoin casinos
- In Russia, the law prohibits citizens from engaging in gambling on internet, but the effectiveness of the law is questionable. Many bitcoin casinos operate in Russia with a large pool of customers
- In China and Turkey, it is prohibited for any citizen to host or participate in bitcoin casinos
- In India there is no law or regulation regarding bitcoin casinos except for the Maharashtra province
- In Australia, any gambling company, both local and offshore cannot host bitcoin casinos
Bitcoin has the potential to bring about new innovations in monetary exchanges. However, its fate depends on the mercy of regulators who can either help the bitcoin system to grow or can suppress its progress altogether.