People have been using credit cards, debit cards, eWallets, and bank transfers to deposit at gaming sites for years. These are all solid methods of transferring money to online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks.
However, it’s worth noting that the general popular is still in the dark on BTC. This leads many to question why somebody would use Bitcoin when there are already established payment methods available. I’ll explain more on what BTC is along with the advantages that make it worth using over traditional payment options.
What Is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency (a.k.a. encrypted currency) that’s used as a form of payment between peers. Bitcoin runs on blockchain technology, which is a public ledger, thus negating the need for a financial middleman.
BTC transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography. Each transaction is recorded on the blockchain, allowing anybody to see this information. However, the wallet addresses that this digital currency is sent to and from aren’t visible. This provides a high level of anonymity that many other payment options can’t match.
How Do You Get Bitcoin?
The first step to purchasing Bitcoin involves visiting an exchange that accepts fiat (e.g. USD). Popular examples include Coinbase, Gemini, and Kraken.
Once you purchase BTC, you can either send it to a wallet or keep it on the exchange. The latter is most convenient, especially if you plan to send your Bitcoin to the gaming site immediately. The main downside of keeping your coins onan exchange, though, is that you don’t technically control them. This is why many crypto enthusiasts recommend that you create a wallet where your Bitcoin can be sent.
How Do You Deposit Bitcoin at a Gaming Site?
You need to visit your preferred online Gambling site and obtain a wallet address. This is the recipient address where you’ll send your BTC. Simply navigate to the online casino’s banking section and select the Bitcoin option to generate an address. You then head back to your exchange/wallet and choose to send a designated amount of BTC.
You’ll be prompted to enter the recipient’s wallet address, which is when you input the casino’s address. Once the transaction is verified, you simply need to wait for the funds to arrive in your casino account.
What Makes Bitcoin Great for Online Gambling?
What should make you buck common banking options like debit cards and eWallets in favor of cryptocurrency? This is exactly the question that many casino gamers ask themselves when deciding if Bitcoin is right for them. The answer depends upon what’s most important to you with regard to casino banking. Keep reading to find out the main benefits of BTC regarding online gaming and decide whether it’s worth depositing with this a digital currency.
1- Provides Access to More Markets
Some countries create barriers between their residents and gaming sites. The United States is a perfect example, because they feature a law called the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). The UIGEA prevents American financial institutions from accepting transactions from unregulated gaming sites. This law doesn’t apply to Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada, or Pennsylvania, which all have licensed and regulated internet gaming markets. Instead, it applies to the rest of the US.
Note that the UIGEA doesn’t make online gaming illegal. Therefore, nothing prevents an offshore casino from serving Americans from a legal standpoint. However, this law does make it extremely difficult for an offshore gaming site to legally handle deposits/payments for US residents.
This is where Bitcoin comes in, because it’s not controlled by a bank or central government. The peer-to-peer aspect means that casinos and players are dealing directly with each other without an intermediary involved. The end result is that Americans and certain other nationalities can more easily play at offshore casinos with Bitcoin.
2- Using Bitcoin Is Easy Once You Get the Hang of It
Some online gamblers may be interested in using BTC when more convenient options aren’t available. But they may also be turned off by the idea of learning about a different payment method. I’ll admit that it takes a little bit to get used to Bitcoin. But once you master purchasing this currency, then you’ll have little trouble with it in the future.
Earlier I covered the simple steps you take to buy Bitcoin from an exchange and send it to an online casino. Once your exchange account is setup, you’ll be able to complete these transactions within minutes. I find that using BTC isn’t any harder than credit cards or eWallets. All you do is overcome the initial steps of creating your exchange account and buying Bitcoin in the beginning.
3- Low Transaction Fees
Bitcoin is just like any other payment option in that there are costs involved with each transaction. But BTC fees can often be lower than other banking methods. You pay Bitcoin transaction fees to miners who process transactions. These fees are essentially payments to the miners for their work.
The cost varies based on how quickly you want to obtain the Bitcoin and network congestion. Assuming you don’t need your BTC extremely fast and the network is running smoothly, your fee will be far less than 1% of the funds being moved. Contrast this to the average credit card or eWallets, which takes around 3% of transactions. If you want to pay $1,000 using a credit card, for example, you need to cover a $3 fee.
4- You Can Verify Fair Gaming
One fear that you may have about online gaming is being cheated. After all, you’re trusting a remote site to provide fair games. You don’t usually have to worry about this, because most sites and their software providers are fair. Unfortunately, there have been a small percentage of incidences where a software provider/gaming site ran faulty software.
Everything is transparent on blockchain technology. Therefore, you’re assured of fair bets since you can audit themat any time. Of course, this doesn’t rule out the chance that a casino could still cheat customers or run poor software. But they’ll be extra motivated to avoid nefarious actions when considering that any player can monitor them.
5- Bitcoin Slots Bonuses Can Be Huge
Internet casinos offer welcome bonuses to encourage you to make a deposit. The size of the bonuses depends upon the site, but you’ll normally be looking at a max amount between $100 and $1,000. Bitcoin casinos usually offer even larger bonuses, which range from 0.1 to 1 BTC. According to the prices at the time of this post, one Bitcoin is worth over $6,400.
Few gaming sites offer bonuses anywhere near this amount. But many BTC casinos are more generous with their welcome offers. Of course, you still need to meet wagering requirements and other terms and conditions before withdrawing your Bitcoin bonus. But it’s definitely worth meeting the T&Cs if you’re looking for a large payout.
6- You Can Play with More Anonymity
Bitcoin isn’t completely anonymous, because federal governments can track users if they put enough effort into the matter. But BTC offers far more anonymity than the average payment option. I mentioned earlier how you can only see wallet addresses when checking Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain. No names, emails, home addresses, or any other information is attached.
This differs from credit cards and eWallets, where the company has a detailed list of everything you do. This control allows them to reject your casino deposits at any point. BTC is a great option if you’ve ever had problems with making casino deposits using regular banking options or just want to keep your transactions out of a centralized database.
Drawbacks to Bitcoin Gambling
Not everything is perfect with Bitcoin, because this cryptocurrency does have downsides in comparison to traditional banking methods. I personally don’t think that these drawbacks put a damper on using BTC. But you should still be aware of them before taking up cryptocurrencies.
Your Bankroll Can Fluctuate
Bitcoin’s volatility is blown out of proportion by the media. This currency is typically stable over long periods of time. Nevertheless, BTC can be extremely volatile over short periods of time. Bitcoin has undergone increases and decreases of more than 50% in a single day. This is still nothing when compared to the type of volatility that currencies like the Venezuelan bolivar and Argentine peso have seen. But those who use more stable currencies like USD, GBP, and the euro are unaccustomed to Bitcoin’s wild swings.
You may find this unnerving when your bankroll is suddenly worth 10% less than its value the next day. Of course, this volatility can also go the other way and increase the value of your bankroll. It’s up to you to decide whether you’re willing to gamble on top of gambling with Bitcoin deposits.
Bitcoin Casinos Don’t Offer as Large of Jackpots
BTC casinos have paid out some large slots jackpots over the years, including a prize worth 11,000 Bitcoins in September 2013. This payout was valued at $1.5 million at the time. While a $1.5 million online slots jackpot is definitely life changing, it doesn’t quite compare to the biggest prizes won in fiat values.
Microgaming’s Mega Moolah jackpot has been hit for $17.9 million (October 2015) and $20.1 million (September 2018). Outside of these record amounts, players have won other fiat slots jackpots that are much bigger than the Bitcoin record.
Bitcoin Denominations Can Be Difficult to Master
One tough thing about switching from national currencies to BTC is mastering the different denominations. Here’s a look at the Bitcoin denominations:
- decaBitcoin (daBTC) = 10 BTC
- Bitcoin (BTC) = 1
- deciBitcoin (dBTC) = 0.1
- centiBitcoin (cBTC) = 0.01
- milliBitcoin (mBTC) = 0.001
- microBitcoin (uBTC) = 0.000001
- Finney = 0.0000001
- Satoshi= 0.00000001
The biggest problem here comes when trying to convert these denominations to your national currency. For example, a Satoshi isn’t worth anywhere near a penny or pence.
Gaming sites use milliBitcoin (mBTC) as the preferred gambling currency denomination, because it’s the closest to USD, GBP, or euros. But not even an mBTC is convenient, because it’s worth $6.40 at the time of this writing. Therefore, betting one mBTC translates to an odd value when converted to US dollars.
Using Bitcoin Requires a Learning Curve
I want to stress again that it’s easy to use Bitcoin once you get past the first few transactions. Of course, you may question why it’s worth getting started with this cryptocurrency in the first place.
You’re likely already well versed with debit cards, eWallets, bank transfers, and/or credit cards. Bitcoin works slightly different than these options, meaning there’s some learning involved. You’ll find that BTC isn’t overly different from regular banking methods once you’re used to it. But the process of signing up at an exchange and buying Bitcoin before usingit is strange.
Should You Start Gambling with Bitcoin?
I highly recommend gambling with Bitcoin if you’re in a country like the US that makes it difficult to play at online gaming sites. Bitcoin’s decentralization makes it a perfect option for getting around draconian banking laws like the UIGEA. As long as your country hasn’t specifically outlawed playing internet casino games, then you’re not doing anything wrong by gambling with BTC.
Anonymity is another advantage to playing with BTC. Although this currency isn’t completely anonymous, it offers you far more privacy than a traditional financial institution. You’ll also appreciate Bitcoin if you’re skeptical about online gaming software. Provably fair casinos, which accept BTC, provide you with the necessary tools to verify your bets.
One more reason to play at Bitcoin casinos is if you’re looking for a huge welcome bonus. I’ve seen plenty of offers that go up to 0.5 or even a full Bitcoin. The latter means that you can potentially earn thousands of dollars with a casino bonus after meeting terms and conditions.
Your bankroll may go through some swings too that have nothing to do with actual gambling. Bitcoin has a history of volatility that occasionally rears its head. I recommend thoroughly examining the pros and cons discussed here before deciding if Bitcoin is right for your gaming situation.
You may or may be interested in using Bitcoin for online gaming purposes. But you can see from the discussion here that there are several reasons why BTC is a good choice. It’s especially useful for players in grey markets who need a reliable banking option. After all, many financial institutions don’t facilitate internet gaming transactions in unregulated countries.
You don’t have to worry about BTC deposits being rejected. Instead, you can always rely on this payment method when placing deposits. Bitcoin also has utility beyond simply having access to more gaming sites. It offers low transaction fees, anonymous use, fair gaming, and big bonuses.
You shouldn’t have much trouble learning how to use BTC if you’re new to it. Exchanges provide fairly clear instructions on buying and sending funds. You’ll even find tutorials at some online casinos on how you can make Bitcoin deposits. YouTube videos are also available on the subject.
Of course, you need to be comfortable with the occasional volatility that arises with Bitcoin’s price. But you may have no trouble with this since you’re a gambler already. That said, visit an exchange and purchase BTC if you’re interested in playing Bitcoin casino games, poker, or sports betting.