Bitcoin casinos are becoming increasingly popular. It feels like a new casino pops up every month, but before you sign up, you need to understand a few things about cryptocurrencies and gambling.
The lack of regulation and the untraceable nature of cryptocurrency transactions means that you must research bitcoin casinos thoroughly before spending any money. Cryptocurrencies are also highly volatile, their value changes all the time; some currencies (e.g., Bitcoin) have huge fluctuations in their exchange rates with fiat currencies (e.g., the US dollar). You need to be aware of this so that you don’t large take financial risks by accident – keep your eye on currency exchange rates.
So, you must have a good understanding of the cryptocurrency-casino industry before playing. Below, I’m going to talk you through 3 things that I think are important for you to understand about bitcoin casinos.
1. The technology causes a barrier to entry for many players
Cryptocurrencies are confusing for people who don’t have much experience with them. It can be difficult to get your head around using them.
Amongst other things, you need to:
- Set up an e-wallet
- Choose a currency and make sure it’s appropriate for your needs
- Find a supplier e.g., a cryptocurrency exchange
- Remember where your wallet is and how to get into it again (so many lost wallets out there)
Why is that a bad thing, doesn’t it mean you’ll be playing with better players?
This technology is more technical than most of us are used to. You can’t just give your card details and get playing. Because of this, not everyone can access bitcoin casinos. This might seem like a good thing because you have fewer irritants around, but there are a few problems:
- Fewer players mean lower jackpots
- The casinos have less of an incentive to offer you a wide range of games – players don’t have the weight they have in a typical online casino.
- When you’re playing strategic games, e.g., poker, the players are likely to be better than in a typical casino. That means you’re less likely to win and less likely to meet a fish.
2. Be wary of online casinos that ONLY offer cryptocurrency banking
Because cryptocurrency transactions aren’t traceable, it’s often used by criminals to move money around. This makes the whole industry a little bit murky. Don’t get me wrong; it has a lot of good points too (privacy, autonomy, decentralisation, etc.), it’s just that there’s bad as well as good.
When a casino only offers cryptocurrency banking and not traditional banking options, it leaves you much more vulnerable to exploitation. It’s harder to tell if the people running the casino are genuine. You don’t necessarily know where in the world they are and they have tended to engage in criminal activity in the past.
3. Many UK online casinos allow you to use bitcoin indirectly
But don’t worry if you want to use bitcoin but don’t want the risk of playing at a crypto-only casino because many UK casinos allow you to use bitcoin indirectly through their online banking options. If a casino allows you to make deposits using an e-money transfer service (e.g., Neteller) then you can fund your gambling with bitcoin (and other currencies).
You can buy cryptocurrencies with Neteller and then use your Neteller account to make deposits with an online casino that accepts it. Some of the big names take Neteller, including William Hill, BetFred, and MansionCasino.
As well as Neteller, casinos use other popular e-money services, including Skrill. They both allow you to use a wide range of cryptocurrencies, such as:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
- Litecoin, 0x
- Stellar Lumens
Summing it up
Although bitcoin casinos have been around a relatively long time, they’re still in their infancy. As people become accustomed to cryptocurrencies, expect to see a lot more players getting on board. Once the currencies become mainstream, we predict that crypto-currency casinos will become much more widespread, and with it, safer.