Bitcoin Gambling USA: What’s the deal?
Online gambling is now a major industry which is responsible for billions of dollars in yearly revenues. And for good reason – not only can players gamble in the comfort of their own home, but they are also accustomed to significant choice. There are literally thousands of online casinos that facilitate all of your favorite table games like roulette, blackjack and baccarat – spread across both software and live dealer platforms. Moreover, it is also possible to access sportsbooks and poker rooms at the touch of a button.
Recognizing this growth in consumer appetite for online gambling, more and more crypto-specific casinos are now opening their doors, subsequently offering players a range of benefits that traditional fiat operators cannot match. This includes the ability to gamble anonymously, instant deposits and withdrawals and zero transaction fees – all of which are available in a trustless eco-system.
However, there is often a misconception that those residing from the USA are unable to take advantage of these benefits, due to the jurisdictional regulations that prevents U.S. players from gambling online. In a nut shell, this is nothing but a myth, as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin do not conform to the same legislative red tape that their U.S. dollar counterpart must adhere to. In this ‘Bitcoin Gambling USA’ opinion piece we explore this phenomenon in greater detail.
Gambling in the USA: The Stranglehold
It all started on what is often referred to as Black Friday – April 15th 2011. And before you ask – no, this isn’t the same Black Friday where consumers battle one another to get their hands on ultra-low shopping deals. Instead, Black Friday refers to the day that the U.S. government officially banned its citizens from accessing online gambling services.
This led to a vast number of online casinos, sportsbooks and poker rooms having to restrict U.S. citizens from depositing real-world money. The only choice that players were left with was to trust shady platforms with no trading history,or any safeguards to guarantee that the games they were playing were true and fair.
Otherwise, they would need to travel to somewhere like Las Vegas, where gambling laws are less stringent. But who wants to do that? Wouldn’t it be great if players from the USA could gamble in a safe and secure environment without leaving their own home? This is exactly what the underlying technologies of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchain protocols can offer.
Now that we’ve covered the back story, the next part of our ‘Bitcoin Gambling USA’ guide is going to look at the legitimacy of crypto-specific operators.
Is Bitcoin Gambling USA legit?
When it comes to the legality of Bitcoin gambling for U.S. citizens, it is highly relevant to take a step back and look at how the cryptocurrency is viewed by legislators. There is a strong disparity in the USA as to what Bitcoin actually is. For example, whilst the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission view it as a commodity, the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) treat it as property and as such – it should be taxed accordingly.
Ultimately, Bitcoin does not fall under the same remit as fiat currency, meaning that regulation is still in its very early days.
As a result, U.S. players now have a new avenue to gamble online. So how does it work? First and foremost – crypto casinos do not discriminate against a player’s location. In fact, when opening an account for the first time, the casino will not ask for anything other than an email address. There is no requirement to supply your name, address, date of birth or nationality – something that is in stark contrast to fiat casinos.
Moreover, Bitcoin casinos will not ask for copies of documentation. Casinos that have a relationship with fiat currencies are bound by a range of regulatory demands such as anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws. This means that they must identity a player prior to allowing them to withdraw their winnings.
In most cases this will require a form of government issued ID such as a passport or driving license, as well as a proof of address such as a utility bill or tax statement. Some operators go one step further by asking for copies of the front and back of your credit card, with some even asking for notarized copies of ID. Crypto casinos will not ask for a single document – which effectively allows the player to gamble anonymously. Moreover, to further protect the player’s identity, individuals can also use an anonymous browser like TOR to hinder their true location.
Now that you know about the anonymous aspect to crypto casinos, the next part of our ‘Bitcoin Gambling USA’ guide is going to discuss trust.
How can I trust a crypto casino?
One of the main barriers preventing USA players from gambling online is with regards to trust. Questions like “How do I know that the casino is actually going to pay me my winnings?” or “What if the games I play are rigged?” are common concerns.
These are legitimate questions, especially when one considers the amount of shady operators that have subsequently shut down – taking player funds with them. Moreover, traditional fiat casinos do not offer any transparent safeguards to guarantee that the games they offer are true and fair.
However, these concerns have been completely alleviated in the world of Bitcoin and blockchain technology. Firstly, established and reputable crypto casinos utilize a provably fair protocol on all of their games. If you haven’t heard of provably fair before, it is a cryptographically supported piece of technology that generates a random seed for each and every gameplay. In plain English – this means that each slot machine spin, blackjack hand or lottery draw is guaranteed for its fairness.
It is impossible for an online casino to override the randomness of provably fair, nor can they attempt to manipulate its outcome. To further amplify these guarantees, this gameplay data is available for all to see, meaning that anyone who so chooses to can independently verify it. Interestingly, although Bitcoin casinos do not need to operate with a full gambling license, some actually do.
This creates an extra level of security, especially regarding the provably fair data. Moreover, it also forces the operators they license to hold player funds in a separate account to their main working capital.
So now that you know the options available to U.S. players, the next part of our ‘Bitcoin Gambling USA’ article is going to briefly outline some of the other benefits that crypto casinos offer.
Bitcoin Casinos USA vs Fiat Casinos
To make things easier for you, we have broken down the various advantages that Bitcoin casinos offer their players. Our ‘Bitcoin Gambling USA’ guide has already discussed anonymity and trust, so let’s take a look at speed.
When depositing funds at a crypto casino, your account is credited instantly. This means that you can easily open an account, deposit funds and then start playing in no longer than a few minutes. As great as this is, it is the withdrawal process that really stands out. Generally speaking, withdrawing funds from a fiat casino normally takes up to a week before the funds reach your account.
Not only do you have to wait for the casino to manually process your request, but then you also need to wait for your credit card issuer to settle the transaction. On the contrary, when withdrawing Bitcoin from a crypto casino your request is automatically processed and your funds are normally back in your personal wallet in just 10 minutes.
In a nut shell, the house-edge is the long-term mathematical advantage that the casino holds over the player. It is reasonable for gambling operators to install this within their business model, otherwise there would be no guarantee that they would make a profit. However, the house-edges found at fiat casinos are often higher in comparison to their cryptocurrency counterparts.
The reason for this is that they are accustomed to a range of underlying costs, such as the need to install manual verification teams and payment departments, as well as having to swallow expensive credit card transaction costs. As Bitcoin casinos are not affected by any of the aforementioned costs, they can pass the savings on in the form of a reduced house-edge – thus, giving the player a greater long-term chance of winning.
Traditional fiat casinos operate on a centralized server, meaning that should a bad actor attempt to hack the platform, they would be able to access highly sensitive data. One such concern is the payment details that players enter when they deposit funds. Credit card and debit card numbers are the ‘Holy Grail’ in the cyber-crime sector, which makes fiat casinos susceptible to attack.
On the contrary, Bitcoin casinos do not collect any personal financial information. When it comes to depositing funds, you transfer Bitcoin from your personal wallet (externally) directly to the casino’s wallet. Moreover, when you withdraw money back, you simply transfer the funds back to the wallet that you used to deposit.
Bitcoin Gambling USA: Are you converted?
The effect of Black Friday has resulted in users being unable to access their favorite gambling products within the comfort of their own home. However, the rise of Bitcoin and blockchain technology has re-opened the doors for U.S citizens to gamble online.
As we have pointed out in our ‘Bitcoin Gambling USA’ opinion piece – not only do cryptocurrency casinos avoid discriminating on player location, but they also guarantee the fairness of each and every game through a provably fair protocol. Moreover, there are now a small selection of Bitcoin casinos that are full regulated.
If you like the idea of instant deposits and withdrawals, alongside anonymous gambling – all within a trust-less environment, then consider joining the blockchain revolution by wagering at a Bitcoin casino or sportsbook today!