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The Upside and Downside of using a Bitcoin Casino

By May 6, 2020 No Comments

While many of you may be familiar with the idea of a casino that accepts cryptocurrency, namely Bitcoin and Ethereum, many within the casino industry itself have come to view these as overtly-risky and have unfortunately tended to steer clear of them. While the game selections tend to include some of the more popular games that players would expect, the obscurity in the licenses and the instability in the currencies have meant players often feel a lack of security in their deposits and playing time.

The Pricing Issue:   

For the last few years, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in general, have endured huge wins and monumental losses, partly down to the currencies themselves and partly down to misinformation by the wider media who are determined to lambast them with criticism and slander their reputation. While Bitcoin highs of £20,000 generated huge hype in 2017, its’ £2,500 price tag at the end of the same year created panic in the markets. It resurged to £9,300 in the following summer of 2019, only to fall back to the £5,300 marker last Christmas – and just this year it has experienced lows £4,200 in March before surging up to £7,200 now. But what does this have to do with Crypto-Casinos you ask? 

   Well, the fact of the matter is that anybody placing a deposit with the casinos has to trust that the value of their holdings is going to be the same at the time of their deposit as at the time of their withdrawal. Should a bitcoin depositor place a stake of 0.0070 BTC (£50) on the Roulette table and find themselves up at 0.0140 BTC (£100) – the last thing they would want to see is that the currency had relapsed on them and that their win was now worth less than they were hoping … or worse, that the price of Bitcoin had risen in their favor throughout their playtime, but that the casino had frozen the withdrawal conversion rate!

The Legislation Side:

While the instability in the price of Bitcoin could put some users off of joining a crypto-casino, there is also the legislative laws that prove a barrier for some. Bitcoin offers users a degree of anonymity, and in doing so, maintains a certain celebrity status among investors. Regulators have long claimed that Bitcoin Casinos run the risk of allowing non-legal gambling amongst minors, countries where it is illegal or permitting money-laundering to occur. It is because of these very issues, that the licenses (if any) that these casinos hold do not protect the player or their investment, as there is no retaliation possible should the casino just up and steal your money. While we are not accusing any of having done this, the possibility certainly exists and therefore creates uncertainty for any potential bitcoin enthusiasts that might have been willing to sign up and place a wager.

The Games:

While we mentioned that many Bitcoin casinos allowed users to play on the ever-popular Roulette, Blackjack, and card games, many of the blockbuster slots that you see advertised in the media will not be available. It would be hard to convince the likes of NetEnt, Microgaming and Playtech to share their biggest releases with a casino that offers obscure legislation, not to mention that many of the Jackpot Slots and Megaways Slots offering a higher RTP, require a percentage of each bet to go into a ‘pool’ between various casinos as a Jackpot to be won, something that would be hard to police with a non-native currency and anonymous betting details.

The Outcome:

The reality is that while Bitcoin casinos can be every bit as enjoyable as the mainstream alternatives, there are many stumbling blocks still to overcome. The ability to stay anonymous may attract many customers to their doors, but just as many will be put off by the many negatives that shroud the idea of them. As governments move more towards accepting Bitcoin as a major currency player (the US passed a bill as recently as January 2020 on crypto) – the credibility of Bitcoin casinos may see them boom – but for now – it is worthwhile erring on the side of caution and ensure that, if you do give them a go, you protect yourself and only bet small increments until you build a level of trust in the casinos themselves.