When people read up about a Bitcoin casino at a Bitcoin casino review site, one of the first items they should be looking at is the license. This is mostly because it affects the legal status of the gambling site. Licenses are not just for show – they ensure that players are protected from scams and cheating. When people play at unlicensed sites, they are putting themselves at a certain level of risk.
Being safe with online gambling is important because of the rapid growth of the online gambling industry. The amount of wagers worldwide is expected to hit $550 billion in 2016 and to reach $950 billion by 2021. A sizeable part of these gambling profits comes from online gambling websites that are offering customers with the ability to use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to bet. It would be best to know the basics of Bitcoin gambling legality for the various jurisdictions in the world.
Online gambling is actually legal in several areas. This is the reason for the many gambling commission out there. However, Bitcoin gambling is still a bit on the gray side since people have not yet fully adapted to the new technology. Fortunately, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) decided to take the first step and be among the first authorities in the world to raise the question of whether or not Bitcoin gambling websites should be legalized.
Last August, the UKGC told UK licensed online casinos to accept Bitcoin as a deposit and cash out method. However, it noted that it had reservations about it in terms of proper regulation, stating the possibility of money laundering. The government of the Isle of Man has also announced that it was thinking about adapting its licensing framework to take into account bitcoin gambling. There are already jurisdictions that have taken the leap and are offering licensing for bitcoin casinos like Gibraltar, Costa Rica, and Curacao. Many well-known Bitcoin casinos have made their home in Curacao like Bitcasino.io.
There are some places, however, where Bitcoin gambling borders on the illegal. For example, the US falls into that area. The main reason for this is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Passed in 2006, it states that the law:
“…prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.”
This makes all financial transactions from banks to online gambling websites illegal. Bitcoin is not associated with banks but it is payment in a way.
Two more examples of strict anti-online gambling countries are Russia and China. Both strictly prohibit all of their citizens from participating in Internet gambling. However, Bitcoin gambling manages to slip through the cracks because the law does not specify it.
For those thinking of Bitcoin gambling legally, it would be best to check local laws first before trying to do so.