Betting sites that accept Bitcoins, and other cryptocurrencies, are growing quickly in popularity. It’s clear that there’s an appetite for an alternative, and anonymous, way to bet. What’s less clear is how safe these sites are.
This fledgeling industry is a largely unknown one. And punters are understandably cautious about the validity of sites that require new users to deposit their cryptocurrencies into accounts that are notoriously difficult to trace or verify.
Which is why the question: “are Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency betting sites safe?” is such a popular, and important, one.
The short answer to that question is… yes.
A quick look at the reviews on Trustpilot, and several other online gambling-specific websites/blogs, proves there’s an established, and active, user base that trusts cryptocurrency bookmakers.
The longer answer is slightly more complicated. Continue reading to find out more…
Are Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency betting sites regulated?
Yes and no. Many of the biggest Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency betting sites will highlight that they are regulated by an official gambling commission on their About Us pages, or in the Footer section of their site.
This doesn’t quite tell the whole story though. A Montenegro gambling license (a popular choice in the industry) will hold little-to-no weight for citizens from nations outside of Montenegro.
How are Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency betting sites regulated?
This will differ on a country-by-country basis. A licence from the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) will be different from a Costa Rican gambling licence, for example.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick answer here. The only way to find out the ins-and-outs of how a site is regulated is to research which gambling licences it holds, and research those specific licences.
However, it’s important to note that many reputable Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency betting websites choose to operate without official licences by design. This is because they recognise that their user base is a niche one that’s using alternative currencies because they want to remain anonymous.
Where is it legal to bet with Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency?
Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency sports betting sites are subject to different laws around the world. For countries like Japan with stringent gambling regulations, cryptocurrency betting is more difficult, but still possible, according to CoinTelegraph.
The rest of the world is behind Japan in terms of limiting online cryptocurrency gambling. Only a handful of countries regulate (permit) online cryptocurrency gambling. These include: Poland, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Cryptocurrency betting, like many other forms of online betting, is also in its infancy in the US too. And as gambling laws in the US differ from state to state, users may get a different experience depending on which state they try to access a Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency betting site from.
This means sites such as Cloudbet, 1xBit and NitrogenSports may not work in your country (or State) as they haven’t applied for – or been awarded – a local license.
Can I use Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency to bet on Sports?
Yes! There are dozens of dedicated Bitcoin (and Cryptocurrency) gambling sites out there that allow users to place bets using cryptocurrency instead of using fiat currencies (via credit card or online deposits).
Websites like Cloudbet, Stake, SportsBet and 1xBit allow punters to register quickly and easily, and bet on their favourite sports using their chosen cryptocurrency.
What are the major sports I can bet my Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency on?
Popular sports like football, tennis, racing and MMA are typically covered when it comes to cryptocurrency betting, although recent years have seen the rise of esports titles like Counter Strike, League of Legends and Dota 2. While traditional sports betting is still the larger of the two, websites that also offer a range of esports are typically more well-established.
Most sites will have their available sports clearly displayed on the home page.
How do Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency keep my deposits safe?
Most cryptocurrency sports betting websites have strong, impenetrable security systems to ensure the safety of their customers’ cryptocurrency.
The key thing to research when choosing a Bitcoin or cryptocurrency betting platform is how your funds are stored. “Cold storage” is the term you’re looking for. This means your cryptocurrency tokens are stored offline – meaning your funds are protected from unauthorized access, cyber hacks and other common internet vulnerabilities.
For reputable Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency betting websites, maintaining a reputation for providing a safe and secure platform for punters to bet on is a priority, and to this end, sports betting websites will also incorporate third-party means of protection, including Bitcoin’s built-in protection software, according to MyTopSportsBooks.
Major cryptocurrency betting websites also employ IP checks to ensure potential threats are flagged ahead of time, preventing the addresses of known hackers, scammers and other malicious users from accessing its services.
Is betting with Bitcoin/Cryptocurrency anonymous?
Depending on the sports betting website, customers can bet anonymously.
Bitcoin, and many other cryptocurrencies, provide an anonymised way to place bets. Many cryptocurrency betting sites recognise the desire for this and make it easy for users to create an anonymous account.
For many forms of cryptocurrency betting, an email address and password may be the only identification needed to place bets – leaving it up to the user to decide whether they want to use their genuine email address or create a burner account.