If you have your finger on the pulse of the online gambling industry, you probably already realize that gambling with Bitcoin is a growing trend, to put it mildly.
As the cryptocurrency industry grows, Bitcoin is likely to get bigger, and more online gambling sites will begin to accept it.
However, while gambling is gambling no matter what currency you use, there are some specific things to know about gambling with Bitcoin before you get started.
We’re going to show you the most important ones here. Take the time to read, think about, and digest the points made here before you gamble with Bitcoin.
There Are Still Relatively Few Bitcoin Gambling Sites
There are lots of sites in many different niches which accept payment by Bitcoin, online gambling included.
Yet most of the “big brands” like the ones you might see on TV or are automatically aware of still don’t accept it. In fact, most online gambling sites do not accept Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies.
That does not mean there are no trustworthy Bitcoin gambling sites which are worth playing at. There are plenty, and we have reviewed most of them here. What it does mean is that your options are limited as compared to gambling with regular currencies.
We’re sure the number of online gambling sites which accept Bitcoin will continue to grow as time passes and more sites realize its value and the benefits for players/punters. That said, for now, the pool of sites which accept it is still relatively small as compared to sites which accept USD/EUR/GBP and other currencies.
While Bitcoin Is Fast, It’s Not the Fastest Crypto
One of the best reasons to use Bitcoin to gamble online is how fast it is.
Ask any number of gamblers what bugs them most about gambling online, and you’ll find at least one who says “payout times” every time.
With Bitcoin, the 3- to 5-day withdrawal times are a thing of the past. When you withdraw from an online gambling site using Bitcoin, you could have your money within minutes of the cashier clearing it.
Yet Bitcoin is not the fastest cryptocurrency – not by a long shot! There are some other altcoins which are much faster, including Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), and Ripple (XRP).
Bitcoin is always evolving, and as the technology gets better, it will likely get much faster. For the foreseeable future, though, there are faster cryptos.
Consider this when gambling with cryptocurrencies. If you don’t mind waiting a few hours when the network is busy, then Bitcoin is perfectly suitable. If you want your cash instantly (within seconds or a couple of minutes at the worst), then consider some other cryptocurrency gambling sites.
Bitcoin’s Value Can Fluctuate Wildly, So Be Prepared
If you’re even considering gambling with Bitcoin, there’s a good chance you’re already at least vaguely aware of its insane price fluctuations.
All cryptocurrencies are the same in this regard, so this isn’t something particular to Bitcoin, but Bitcoin does get the most attention because its value is so great. Several times in its history, it has crashed by double digits virtually overnight, and a few times, it has had a longer, more protracted pullback of over 70%.
If you’re going to gamble with Bitcoin, you have to be prepared for these price fluctuations. It’s possible that when you withdraw your Bitcoin jackpot, the price will nosedive 10% in a couple of days, and if you haven’t cashed out into your national currency or spent it, you’ll have to either eat that loss or wait until the price recovers.
Of course, this works both ways. Bitcoin prices can also skyrocket in a short space of time. It once ran from just over $900 to just under $20,000 per coin in the space of a year (2017). Most of that action happened between September and December. Therefore, you could win a Bitcoin jackpot and watch it multiply before your eyes if you have the patience to hold it.
If the prospect of even temporarily losing a sizeable percentage of your jackpot makes you nervous, we advise you to cash out your Bitcoin jackpots right away. If the idea of winning (or losing) even more just for holding thrills you, then gambling with Bitcoin could be a way for you to get extra excitement from gambling.
Bitcoin Will Save You Money, But It Isn’t Totally Free to Use
One of the main reasons many online gamblers are switching to Bitcoin is because it is essentially a fee-free payment method. While web wallets like PayPal are notorious for taking a chunk of your cash, Bitcoin fees are usually a few pennies even on transactions into the thousands of dollars.
Bitcoin is not a company, unlike Visa, Mastercard, or Neteller. It’s a decentralized network, and its transactions are verified by “miners” who take a nominal fee. These fees have come down significantly over time, but fees are dependent on how many transactions are happening on the blockchain at a given time.
Take a look at Bitcoin fees over time. At one of the busiest periods in late 2017, before the Bitcoin blockchain was really ready to handle the volumes it did, fees skyrocketed. That’s no longer the case, though. Fees are now next to nothing, and as the technology behind Bitcoin improves, they will become so cheap that you don’t even have to think about them.
So, Bitcoin will save you money when it comes to making deposits and withdrawals as long as you pick a casino which doesn’t have extra withdrawal fees for Bitcoin transactions. However, that does not mean there are no costs to gambling with Bitcoin.
Unless you have a friend or acquaintance you trust who has Bitcoin and who is willing to sell you some, you’ll have to buy them on a cryptocurrency exchange which allows you to exchange fiat currencies for cryptocurrencies. There are a growing number of these, but some take fees of as much as 3% of the transaction.
Think of this as a “startup cost” when it comes to using Bitcoin to gamble online. You can move the money back and forth hundreds of times between your Bitcoin wallet and the gambling site for pennies, so you’ll likely save long term if you’re a regular gambler. You’ll also save big-time on the withdrawal if you win a large amount of money.
Due to these initial purchase fees, Bitcoin might be best for players who want to deposit hundreds or thousands of dollars. It probably isn’t worth it to buy $20 of Bitcoin to gamble with, in all honesty.
On the point of obtaining Bitcoin, keep in mind that some banks have banned cryptocurrency purchases with their credit cards. You’ll need to be sure your bank allows you to buy cryptos with their cards if you plan to use credit to obtain them.
Bitcoin Bonuses Are Often Bigger Than Regular Bonuses
Online casinos, sports betting sites, and poker sites know cryptocurrency is highly likely the future of money. They also know that no matter how many other cryptocurrencies come along, Bitcoin will always be one of the major ones, even if it is unseated from the top spot.
As a result, Bitcoin deposit bonuses and free bets tend to be a lot bigger than those offered on regular currencies. Think about it from the site’s perspective – they know that they will make a percentage on all bets, no matter how many people win, so they want to give you a reason to deposit as much as possible.
Since they know the cryptocurrency they make today will probably be worth a lot more in the future, they willingly assume the risk that comes with larger bonuses. It makes business sense from a long-term perspective, and it’s a good deal for players/punters, so it’s a win-win situation.
That said, you should always take your time to assess the Bitcoin bonuses on offer. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and the terms and conditions should be assessed carefully before you accept any offer.
Also keep in mind that “too good to be true” bonuses can be a sign of a rogue gambling site. If the deal strikes you as abnormally large, it’s worth investigating the operator further to make absolutely sure they’re legit.
Bitcoin Is Easy to Use, But There Is a Learning Curve Involved
By far the biggest obstacle which prevents most people from gambling with Bitcoin is the learning curve involved in using it. That’s a shame because if those players persevered and made the switch, they would be glad they did.
Using Bitcoin for any purpose, including gambling online, can be a little confusing when you first start using it. Like all new technology, it’s unfamiliar, and it seems like something created by an advanced intelligence. Heck, some people really think it was!
Yet just like the internet and every other new technology you have come across and mastered, Bitcoin becomes incredibly easy to use within a short space of time. In fact, many proponents find it easier to use than banks and applications like PayPal.
The main thing to wrap your head around with Bitcoin is the wallet addresses. They’re long and not particularly attractive-looking. Writing them down is a pain because they’re letters and numbers which can be both upper and lowercase.
For this reason, most people find it easier to copy and paste Bitcoin addresses. Thankfully, the ability to do so eliminates most of the errors you might make. Sending your Bitcoins to the wrong address is not something you want to experience, believe us!
The point is simple: using Bitcoin to gamble online involves learning something new. Some people let that put them off, while others embrace it as an opportunity. You get to make that choice.
If cryptocurrency keeps going the way it has been, you’re probably going to have to learn to use it eventually, so you might as well start now.
Bitcoin Offers Anonymity, But It Can Be Traced
For a long time, people using Bitcoin believed it was absolutely untraceable. Therefore, lots of people used it for nefarious purposes and committed crimes in the belief they could never be caught.
As many of those same people have since found out, Bitcoin can be traced if you do something which is worthy of top law enforcement agencies investigating you. However, as long as you’re not a criminal mastermind (or wannabe), Bitcoin can offer you a great deal of anonymity and privacy.
While the initial purchase of Bitcoin will likely be linked to your identity in some way if you purchase through an exchange, and the Bitcoin gambling site will probably ask you to verify your identity at some point, creating a link to you there, that’s as far as it goes.
You can then move them from your exchange address to a mobile wallet which nobody even knows you have. It’s up to you what you do with them from there.
This is fantastic news for people who want to create a degree of separation between their gambling habits and their financial statements. It’s not always good to have regular deposits to gambling sites on your statements when it comes to things like applying for mortgages and loans. This privacy element is one of the major reasons to use Bitcoin to gamble on the web.
While Bitcoin does offer privacy, just remember all those people who thought it gave them a shot at breaking the law. Remember to pay your taxes on what you win (if any are due), and don’t make the mistake of thinking Bitcoin can allow you to break the law and get away with it if gambling is strictly illegal in your country.
Bitcoin Can Enable Restricted Players to Gamble Online
US gamblers have been banned from almost every gambling site since the UIGEA passed in 2006. Bitcoin changed that, and US players have been one of the main driving forces behind Bitcoin use in general and especially its use in online gambling.
The USA is one of the strange grey areas where gambling online isn’t strictly illegal for the player but where it is illegal for financial institutions to facilitate gambling transactions. Since Bitcoin is decentralized and requires no permission from any middleman, institution, or network, US players have quickly realized that it’s a workaround to the regulations which otherwise shut the doors of most online gambling sites.
While this workaround can be a relief to frustrated US gamblers, it comes with a caveat – the Bitcoin gambling space is full of scammers who know you have no legal recourse if you make a deposit from a country where you’re not even supposed to be gambling online. Therefore, it’s even more important than usual to find a trustworthy Bitcoin gambling site.
To be clear, we are not telling you to gamble with Bitcoin online if gambling is illegal in your country. We’re just saying that where annoying restrictions exist, Bitcoin can be a way around them.
As you can see, there are some things to think about before you dive into gambling with Bitcoin online. There are pros and cons to doing so, but ultimately, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.
If you do decide to proceed, make sure you pick a safe Bitcoin exchange to make your initial purchase on. Then, take the time to read our reviews to find an honest Bitcoin gambling site. We also advise you to take the time to study how to send and receive Bitcoins. It takes a little time to learn this stuff, but it could save you a huge headache in the long run.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about these things to know when gambling with Bitcoin. The only question left is this: are you going to take a leap and do it?