The worlds of both online gambling and untraceable digital currencies have enjoyed much success and progress in recent years. The former is due to a liberating reshuffle of U.S. casino laws, and the latter is due to, well, people realizing the astronomical potential of the blockchain(link).
These two worlds have also collided quite fiercely, however, and the question of whether or not this is good news lacks a straightforward answer.
Firstly, let’s define cryptocurrencies, namely, Bitcoin and friends. These are exclusively digital currencies that are traded in conjunction with the blockchain, a communal ledger that records transactions and assets without being tampered with or influenced by anyone.
These currencies can be moved around, traded, held in digital wallets, and spent in complete anonymity. And not to mention, they have spawned a whole new arena for trading and potentially getting rich – things we humans have been rather fond of throughout the ages.
Indeed, given the fluctuations of crypto currencies’ values, there is an element of gambling at their core. Not at all, unlike the stock market and not at all, unlike the calculated risk-taking in online casinos.
Now, if we were to ask the American Gaming Association (AGA), they would be quick to denounce all crypto casinos as, essentially, organized crime. The AGA is not to be ignored either; they are one of a few deeply established regulatory bodies that keep the gaming landscape in check.
This is done through all manner of procedures, from testing software for rigging to making sure all companies are operating in accordance with U.S. law. Before the gambling ban was lifted, online casinos started cropping up offshore, putting their servers anywhere without legal restrictions and then granting access to their websites to U.S. citizens.
Of course, this is incredibly frustrating for regulatory bodies such as AGA, who cannot get the government to prosecute potentially dodgy organizations outside of U.S. jurisdiction… So where does crypto come in, then? Crypto is inherently untraceable, and so without clarity as to where profits are going, the business cannot be thoroughly regulated.
Additionally, the governments of unrestricted states see some profits themselves – but any such arrangements are, considering that crypto is still the new kid on the block, trickier to be fulfilled.
Although the AGA would have the act of gambling with such currencies made illegal in a heartbeat, there are no actual stipulations against it in the legislation of unrestricted states. Overall, this is probably a good thing because crypto may well be the standard form of currency in years to come, so the quicker it is assimilated into the world of online casinos, the better.
This is, of course, not to say that there are no potentially bad casinos and scammers (they will always be around, in some form or other). Like any other casino, you need to do a little research to make sure the house offers quality and integrity.
Unlike other casinos or the more traditional payment methods thereof, the value of cryptocurrencies tends to be A LOT less stable… almost bipolar at times. This can be a double-edged sword, though – if the value goes up during your winning streak (of bets placed with, say, bitcoin), then your wins are more valuable, just as the reverse is true.
With this in mind, it is advisable to educate yourself on cryptocurrencies more generally first, so you can get a feel for the market, forecasts, etc. so you understand what you (and the dealer) are dealing with. Sometimes it can be like playing with fire a bit – burns have been known.
Whilst anonymity is also an obvious crypto boon, any decent online casino will take good, encrypted care of your identity. If, however you value anonymity in the extreme for whatever reason, even if it is just that you (understandably) take issue with your bank, building society, or digital wallet (i.e., PayPal) knowing every last thing you spend your money on, then gambling with crypto is easily the best option. Actually, it’s the only option in that regard.
Whilst a lot of the offshore crypto casinos (to steer clear of the legislative fog) have blocked any IP addresses from the U.S. from registering an account, there are always loopholes and nifty solutions. You guessed it, a virtual private network or ‘VPN’ will mask a potential bettor’s IP (not necessarily American – a few countries are banned from the more cautious crypto casinos), giving them the opportunity to win some serious digits, to leave a grand but invisible mark on the blockchain.
Overall, though, should you still bet with your country’s standard currency? Or is gambling with crypto worth the potential additional risks, effort, or expenditure? The gambling industry has always been a major driver of the adoption of new technologies.
It has consistently pushed the boundaries of technology, whether using slot machines to pay for goods in stores or using in-game items as a form of currency. Nowadays, blockchain technology is being adopted by many casinos and card rooms to help them keep up with changing consumer demands.
As the gambling industry is constantly evolving and adapting to new technologies, one thing remains constant: Players want access to their funds whenever they need them. It can be difficult for casinos to provide because traditional methods of payment are slow and expensive.
That’s why many casinos have turned to cryptocurrency as an alternative means of payment — it offers instant transactions at a low cost compared to other methods like credit cards or bank transfers. Crypto is certainly worth keeping an eye on, given how it has exploded into all manner of scenes, not least of all online gambling.
But perhaps don’t start dishing out Doges quite yet, perhaps not until the foreseeable.Time2play reviews the top online casinos in the US that generally aren’t offering crypto, as a form of payment at this moment in time. But the site shows you trusted and legit casinos that you can bet on, with top bonuses.
The reason why these casinos aren’t offering crypto is simply because the ones that are just more established and rigorously tested by the aforementioned regulatory bodies have not begun to accept it yet. But the landscape is indeed changing, and titans of the business such as DraftKings have announced that they are making plans to accept cryptocurrencies in future. The future indeed, looks promising.