BITCOIN ONLINE GAMBLING
Bitcoins can be transferred between users through bitcoin addresses, which are a series of numbers and letters that range from between 27–34 characters. In almost all cases, transactions are processed for free.
One of the most costly aspects of running an online casino, or any gambling site for that matter, is payment processing. Every time a player deposits using a credit or debit card, bank account, or e-wallet – such as Neteller, Skrill, or PayPal – there is a fee for using their service.
Many online gambling sites cover this fee and don’t pawn it off on their players, but some do for the cost onto their users. For those in unregulated markets, like the United States, customers are often saddled with withdrawal fees that can cost them 10 percent of their winnings.
Even if these sites include the fees associated with payment processing, it still hurts their bottom-line profits. They’ll have to compensate for the losses in the form of reduced odds, bonuses, or promotions for players.
This is one of the many reasons bitcoins are so attractive to online gambling operators. Deposit and withdrawals are free, effectively eliminating payment-processing costs. This allows sites to have a lot more money for deposit bonusesand other promotions, but most importantly – it allows them to offer the best payouts in the world for online casino gamblers.
Another aspect of Bitcoin that is so crucial is its decentralization and lack of ties to any government or bank. Funds can’t be seized or frozen in the same way that they could if they were held in a bank using traditional fiat currency.
This isn’t a big deal for those living in legal, regulated online gambling markets, but for unregulated or illegal markets – this aspect is huge. US online gamblers, specifically, have had their funds frozen several times over the past decade by theUS Department of Justice.
Bitcoin allows players the ultimate control of their money and the freedom of choice to do whatever they like with their funds. They also offer near anonymity when gambling online. Most bitcoin casinos, at most, will ask for a player’s email address for password recovery purposes. The vast majority will not ask for personal information, like your name and address.
TYPES OF BITCOIN CASINOS
While I mentioned that the masses have adopted bitcoins in some fashion, they are still much less widely used compared to traditional currencies when it comes to online casino markets.
Online casinos that deal solely in BTC are the most common choice for players when browsing online bitcoin casino sites. However, several casinos that take fiat currencies are now beginning to adopt bitcoin as a deposit and/or withdrawal option.
In comparison to bitcoin-only sites, casinos that accept both currencies will ask for a name and address at sign-up and typically ask for identity verification when players request a withdrawal. This, usually, entails faxing a utility bill or bank statement.
Most hybrid casinos will accept deposits via bitcoin and process withdrawals back to a bitcoin address of your choosing but will convert the funds to a fiat currency when you deposit. For instance, if you deposit via bitcoin at a hybrid casino, you will end up betting with a fiat currency, like Euros or US Dollars while the money is inside your account.
BITCOIN CASINO GAMES
Each successive year, there are more and more options for BTC casino gamblers. It is no fringe industry. Bitcoin casinos offer the same games as traditional online casinos, except with much better odds and free deposits and withdrawals. Bitcoin casinos have only been around for a few years, but they have already surpassed traditional operators in a number of areas.
Casino gamblers love slots, and the BTC casino industry has them in large numbers. The best bitcoin casinos have dozens of slots on offer, with a host of options for players, including progressive jackpots. However, what should draw slot players to bitcoin casinos are their payout percentages.
The vast majority of bitcoin slots offer payout percentages higher than fiat-based online casinos and make land-based slots look like legalized robbery. Some sites offer payouts as high as 99% on some of their slots. For slot gamblers, there is no better option than bitcoins.
Blackjack, the second most popular game behind slots, also is well represented in the bitcoin casino market. Players can choose from many variations of the game and, once again, will receive better payout odds than just about any fiat-based (online or offline) casino in the world.
One of the simplest games to understand, roulette is the most played table game behind only blackjack. BTC casinos offer many variations of the game, including American and European roulette. I hate to beat a dead horse, but again, players will be getting the best odds and will have as many or more options compared to fiat-based sites.
Live Dealer Casino Games
Live dealer casino games have exploded in popularity in the past few years. The trend has also made its way over to bitcoin gambling markets. Games like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat are available for live casino wagering at a number of bitcoin casinos. Live casino games will allow players to get right into the action with authentic casino environments that are being streamed live. It’s also a fun way to socialize with other players.
The above games are the most popular choices for players, but bitcoin casinos don’t stop there. They offer the full assortment of casino gambling options, including video poker, three-card poker, craps, casino war, and a long list of other games. Dice and lottery games are also extremely popular and available at a large number of sites.
Provably fair casino gambling is a breakthrough for not only BTC gambling but also gaming in general. It allows players to prove that they are getting fair odds on each and each and every bet or transactions. Using cryptographic hash technology, players can verify that the casino has no control of the random outcome of the wager.
Each game calculates provably fair differently, but the concept is becoming widespread across most major bitcoin casinos. Players can verify that a game is provably fair by entering bet ID numbers and other information that varies depending on the site.
Provably fair gaming is a revolutionary way for determining fair play because it is instant and foolproof. Players immediately know if they’re getting a fair shake, and every bet can be independently verified.
Contrast this to fiat-based online and offline casino games, and you’re looking at a night-and-day difference when it comes to verifying fair play. Gaming compliance studies and verification can take weeks or months when it comes to wagering with traditional currencies. Tens of thousands of hands need to be analyzed from each game. It’s a long and arduous process that takes plenty of time and money.
With Bitcoin and provably fair, game integrity can be instantly verified. There is no process or study that needs to be conducted on each site. You’re either getting a fair shake, or you’re not, and you will know immediately.
BITCOIN GAMING LICENSES
Those who have bet online for years are used to seeing licensing seals on many of their favorite gambling sites. Depending on where the site is located and the countries they operate in, licensing requirements can vary wildly. Some regulatory authorities have strict requirements while others are merely interested in collecting licensing fees and offer little oversight.
Licensing is extremely common when it comes to fiat-based casinos, but few bitcoin-based casinos are currently licensed. This is more of a reflection of how new bitcoins to online gambling markets rather than the sites not being safe enough for regulation.
Licensing also isn’t as important as most players think. In many jurisdictions, there is little that can be done by regulatory authorities when there is a dispute between a site and a customer. In most cases, players are at the mercy of casino operators.
Even highly regulated authorities end up failing in their quest protect players. In 2011, after the US DOJ indicted PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Cereus (Absolute Poker & Ultimate Bet) for UIGEA violations, they were forced to refund players’ deposits almost immediately.
PokerStars processed the withdrawals in less than a week, but Full Tilt and Cereus had several delays before they were later found to be insolvent. At the time, Full Tilt was the second most populous poker site in the world and was licensed by the prestigious Alderney Gambling Control Commission.
In the end, players did receive their funds from Full Tilt (albeit nearly three years later), but those who had money at Cereus were out of luck. However, this goes to show you how even some of the best gambling bodies drop the ball.
There are going to be bad apples in every industry, and the same goes for bitcoin casino gambling. Players should do their research before transferring bitcoins into a bitcoin casino. Well-known sites with a long track record are crucial. Longevity is everything in this industry; licensing requirements mean little.
BITCOINS CASINO CHECKLIST
To help you pick an online casino to play at that lets you deposit and play using Bitcoins we have put together our easy to follow checklist below, simply make sure the Bitcoin casino you are playing at offers you most of the following and then you can play with complete confidence at that particular site.
Licensed – As mentioned above you should look for a Bitcoin casino that holds a full online gaming license, this is usually displayed on the casinos website, and whilst checking this look out for who has certified the casinos games. More and more bitcoin casinos are getting licences, but unfortunately a lot of them are still unlicensed. The fact that they do not hold a licence, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not safe to play at. Read our recommendations on this site and you should be certain that you are playing at a safe and secure casino that accepts bitcoin.
Software – By sticking to the better known Bitcoin casino software platforms then you will be assured of fair games, ideally the Bitcoin casino should have a flash suite of games, a mobile casino site and even a fully downloadable casino platform, if it does then you will know that have made a large financial investment in their casino and as less likely to pull any stunts! As bitcoin gambling is evolving, more and more software opportunities are arising. As a result, you can now play with coins at some of the worlds highest rated and most popular software providers, including Playtech, Aristocrat Gaming, Softswiss, Microgaming and Betsoft.
Reputation – An online casino is only ever as good as the reputation it has acquired, and this is where often it will pay for you to research the Bitcoin casino you are thinking of playing at very carefully. Do a Google search for that site to see if any players have been messed around with that site. Also, check out ourbitcoin casino reviews, as we research, test and write unbiased reviews of online casinos that accept bitcoin currency. Also, be sure to visit the bitcoin gambling section over at Bitcointalk.org for first hand experiences and reviews by the players themselves.
Gamble Responsibly – Online gambling is meant to be fun, entertaining and possibly rewarding. If you ever feel that you are playing too much or losing control, or maybe just want to take more control over your gaming activities, we recommend reading our article on responsible gaming.
Understand Bitcoin – Before you just jump into playing at Bitcoin casinos make sure you are fully aware of how the Bitcoin system works and operates. You may need to spend some time researching it – learning how to buy and sell, using exchanges and bitcoin wallets, but when you do you will see for yourself just how reliable it is and how it is a perfect fit for online gaming.
For casino gamblers, the use of bitcoins is a game changer. Not only can they deposit and withdraw freely with near anonymity and without any government interference, but the odds available are the best on the planet. Throw in provably fair games to assure players that they won’t be cheated, and it’s easy to see why bitcoins and online gambling are a match made in heaven.