How Bitcoin is Unlocking Online Casinos to a Global Audience
In western countries that permit online gambling, casino play is taken for granted. In many nations throughout Europe, it’s impossible to turn on the television or watch a football match without being assailed by adverts for online casinos, poker and bingo sites. The internet has facilitated an unprecedented online gambling boom. In the UK alone, the industry is worth £14 billion a year, and provides over 106,000 jobs.
UK players, who can sign up at an online casino through sites like ours of course ‘Online Casinos Elite’ and other reputable review sites like www.Casinopedia.org, register a credit card and deposit funds in minutes, generally have no need to mask their enjoyment of a pastime that carries little social stigma. Digital currencies such as bitcoin, which provide a degree of anonymity on the web, are of little interest to the vast majority of British gamblers. The tech-savvy might enjoy living off virtual currencies, but for the average gambler, card or ewallet works just fine.
Benefiting from bitcoin
It’s easy to assume that this is the state of play in every developed nation. But not all countries are as amenable to gambling – despite the protestations of a sizeable proportion of their citizens. The US is a country which is synonymous with gambling thanks to the bright lights of Las Vegas which loom large in pop culture and act as a beacon for holidaymakers the world over. On the web, it’s a different story however.
Online gambling is tightly restricted in the US due to federal laws that effectively outlaw it. Some states have successfully pushed through their own laws permitting the practice, despite federal protestations, but these casinos are tightly regulated and open to local residents only. And don’t even think about sports betting, which is a strict no-no on American shores, leading to a burgeoning sportsbook black market. For Americans unable to gamble within their own state, a bitcoin casino provides a lifeline.
Offshore and out of reach
Many offshore casinos, anxious not to incur the wrath of US prosecutors, prohibit US customers from signing up. Some of the bolder ones will still accept US credit cards, though most choose to play it safe and exclude American money altogether. For operators and US players alike, bitcoin provides a practical solution. There’s no easy way of telling where in the world and from whom a bitcoin transaction has originated, giving casinos plausible deniability. These same features which define bitcoin also aid US players, who can deposit funds without having their credit card provider flagging the transaction.
It’s not just US customers who have been using bitcoin to circumvent restrictions and hurdle grey areas of law; the same applies to every country that restricts whether and where its people can gamble. Countries such as Norway and Portugal permit gambling, for instance but only at state-sanctioned casinos.
Bitcoin knows no borders
Players who are craving a fresh challenge and enviously casting their gaze overseas can use bitcoin to deposit funds quickly and discreetly before seeing for themselves whether the grass really is greener and the deposit bonuses sweeter. India and China are two other major territories where bitcoin has provided a shot in the arm for aspiring gamblers.
For countries that go so far as to prosecute players caught gambling online, using technologies such as bitcoin to bypass restrictions is inadvisable. Use of the cryptocurrency doesn’t provide complete anonymity and it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of getting caught. Nevertheless, in countries such as the US where online gambling is still a contentious and restricted matter, bitcoin provides a welcome measure of privacy.