Pros and Cons of Playing at Bitcoin Casinos
You may have noticed over the past few years that interest has really picked up in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
So it should come as no surprise that online casinos and sportsbooks are starting to accept bitcoin as a deposit and withdrawal method.
Some casinos let you play in bitcoin as well.
There are even sites which only accept bitcoin.
This may leave you wondering whether you should play at bitcoin casinos, or if it is better to stick with casinos which accept traditional “fiat” currencies.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of bitcoin casinos so that you can make an informed decision.
Pros of Bitcoin Casinos
Let’s start out by looking at some of the many benefits of bitcoin casinos.
1. Keep your gambling activities more private.
If you live in the UK, you might wonder why you would need to conceal your gambling activities.
Around half of Britons openly gamble, so there is an open, accepting mindset there.
But if you live in another country like the USA, you might have every reason to want to conceal your activities.
Online gambling is very much frowned upon in many parts of the USA. It exists in a legal gray area in many respects.
In some countries around the world, it is flat-out illegal.
You should of course never break the laws of your country or state, or you could risk serious legal consequences.
But it is entirely reasonable to want to keep your activities private so as not to risk criticism and negativity from others around you who may have some moral issue with gambling.
Bitcoin casinos all have their own policies regarding identity.
Some casinos will be absolutely fine with you providing nothing more than your email address to register and a bitcoin address for your withdrawals.
Others will make you verify your actual identity.
Check the identify verification requirements before joining a site, and pick those which have procedures you are comfortable with.
2. Protect yourself from hackers.
We have just witnessed one of the biggest hacks of sensitive consumer information in history over at Equifax. I don’t know about you, but these days whenever I input personal data or payment information at any website, I feel quite uneasy.
If you gamble with bitcoin instead of using a credit card or e-wallet, you are protecting your money.
You are not giving away any information that can be used against you. You are simply providing a unique single-use bitcoin address for payments every time you schedule a withdrawal.
Can bitcoin be hacked?
In theory, sure, but it is very unlikely. In the entire history of bitcoin, no successful hack has ever occurred, nor has there been any major downtime. These days, that is a rare thing, so take advantage of it.
3. Play at casinos with lower overhead.
Another nice thing about bitcoin is that it simplifies the monetary operations of an online casino significantly.
That means that the entire overhead costs of the casino may be lower than they would be if fiat currencies were accepted.
So this is a special benefit for bitcoin-only casinos. When a company is able to save money on overhead, that typically results in savings for you, the consumer.
4. Enjoy bigger bonuses.
What do online casinos do when they have lower overhead costs and more money to put into other aspects of running their websites?
Often they hand out bigger bonuses.
Some bitcoin welcome bonuses are absolutely massive. For example at Cloudbet you can get a massive 5 BTC bonus.
Depending on the current price of bitcoin, you can see that is an absolutely huge bonus.
You are not going to find promotions like these anywhere else. High rollers in particular will love some of these amazing welcome gifts!
5. Pay lower (or no) fees.
Another area where cost savings get passed on to you is with regard to fees.
If you use fiat currencies to deposit and withdraw money, you usually will end up paying some type of fee. It may just be a few dollars with a credit card or it could be quite a bit with a check or wire transfer—but either way, it cuts into your winnings.
With bitcoin and even more so with crypto currencies like litecoin and ethereum, you can get away from fees altogether in many cases.
Many good bitcoin casinos offer completely fee-free deposits and withdrawals.
That means you actually get to keep all of the money you win! You also usually are allowed unlimited free withdrawals, so you do not need to worry about planning ahead to schedule your transfers to avoid additional fees.
6. Enjoy lightning fast deposits and withdrawals.
The other great thing about depositing and withdrawing using bitcoin is that it is one of the fastest ways to move your money.
Sometimes a bitcoin transfer may take a few days to process, but quite often the entire process is complete within around 10 minutes.
Contrast that with the weeks it can take to get a withdrawal processed via a check!
7. Stop dealing with credit card hassles.
Trying to get a credit card deposit for an online casino to go through can be an adventure in and of itself.
Sometimes there are laws in place which prevent credit card processors from completing transactions successfully.
As a result, you may try to make a deposit and wait for days for the transaction to complete, only to find out at the end that it has been rejected and you need to try again!
This will not happen with bitcoin.
There is no regulator preventing bitcoin payments from being used for specific purposes.
You can rely on the system to process your deposit or withdrawal quickly and efficiently so you can get on with your gambling activities.
Cons of Bitcoin Casinos
Now that you know some of the advantages of gambling at online bitcoin casinos, let’s take look at some of the potential drawbacks you may need to deal with.
1. If you are new to bitcoin, you are probably going to be confused.
Depositing US Dollars or Euros or whatever fiat currency you are used to dealing with is simple and straightforward.
You already possess that currency, and you know how to transfer it. In most cases, you just open an online casino account, provide your credit card information, select an amount to transfer, and you are all set and ready to gamble.
If you have bitcoin already, getting started with online bitcoin gambling is going to be easy too.
You just open an account, grab the casino’s bitcoin address, and transfer the funds.
But if you do not already have bitcoin, you cannot start gambling at bitcoin casinos until you first familiarize yourself with cryptocurrencies.
Doing so is a learning process and will take some time. So that is a hurdle to jump through.
Still, it is one that can pay off.
2. Obtaining bitcoin can be a pain in the beginning.
If you are not currently holding bitcoin, you will need to get some before you can gamble with it.
You can go through an ATM to do this, or you can use a website like LocalBitcoins. We have a guide on getting started here.
While obtaining bitcoin may seem like a hassle in the beginning, it will be much easier the second time you do it.
Eventually, you won’t even think that hard about it. It will just be a routine thing.
3. There is no oversight if something does go wrong.
If you run into a problem involving credit card payments, the payments processor often will help you get a refund.
With bitcoin, there is no third party providing oversight or protection, so if you have some kind of an issue gambling with bitcoin, you will be the only one who can do anything about it.
4. You will end up paying extra fees for currency conversions.
It is true that there are usually no deposit or withdrawal fees with bitcoin.
But that does not mean that you will not pay more in fees at some other point along the line.
After all, you need to conduct currency conversions at some point.
Point in case, you might use an ATM to buy your bitcoin to deposit in your casino account. This method is convenient, but the fees for using the ATM can be pretty steep.
Likewise, if you purchase bitcoin through a currency conversion on a trading platform, you will pay a fee for the conversion.
At some point, you may want to convert your bitcoin back into fiat currency as well.
When you do that, you may run into more fees on that end of the process as well. So yes, bitcoin gambling can save you money when it comes to dealing with the casino, but you need to calculate in the fees for converting to and from fiat currencies before you deposit and after you withdraw.
5. Some casinos only list amounts in bitcoin, so you have to learn to think in bitcoin.
Most online casinos list amounts in US Dollars, British Pounds, or another major fiat currency. This is true whether they accept bitcoin or not, so long as they do accept fiat currencies.
Bitcoin-only casinos however tend to list amounts in BTC instead of in a fiat currency. This makes sense, since everyone with an account there will be gambling in BTC anyway.
This is really neither a benefit nor a drawback. It is neutral in and of itself; whether it benefits your or not depends on what currency you are used to thinking and calculating in.
If you prefer to think in bitcoin, you may actually appreciate all the amounts on the site being listed that way. It would save you from having to do mental math.
But if you are used to thinking of your bitcoin in terms of its fiat currency worth, this may annoy you, as you will have to constantly be asking yourself, “what does this stake size mean? What is this payout equivalent to? What does that bonus equal”
6. There are some dodgy unlicensed bitcoin casinos out there.
Another potential problem involving bitcoin casinos is that there are some sites out there with zero licensing or reputation. Because bitcoin transactions can be completely anonymous, bitcoin casinos can get away with operating in the same fashion. When this happens, there is no oversight.
Technically, though, this is a problem which can arise with any online casino, even those which accept fiat currencies.
Plus, just as there are great fiat casinos in existence, there are excellent bitcoin casinos as well. These high quality cryptocurrency casinos are licensed and abide by applicable laws. Many of them are relatively new since bitcoin has only recently exploded in popularity and value, but they are already fast developing strong reputations.
So the presence of dodgy fly-by-night bitcoin casinos should be a concern to you, but probably not much more of one than dodgy fiat casinos. Just do your homework and check out our online casino reviews here to find the best sites accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.
7. Bitcoin is volatile.
Finally, one more potential drawback of bitcoin is that bitcoin itself is a gamble. Even if you never take a spin at an online slot machine with BTC, just holding the currency means you are taking a risk with your money.
Bitcoin undergoes large fluctuations on a regular basis.
Its value can swing wildly up and down. That means that there is no certainty that your bitcoin will retain the value it had when you purchased it.
There is always the possibility that the bubble will burst.
Of course, the opposite could happen as well.
The bitcoin you buy now could be worth far more in the future, in which case you could make a killing just by investing in it.
That is exactly what happened to people who bought bitcoin a few years ago.
If you purchased 1 BTC back in July of 2010, you would have paid just $0.08 for it. That same amount as of December 26th 2017 was worth $16,200.
Imagine what it must be like to be someone who spent a few dollars investing in bitcoin back in 2010, and then managed to hold onto that currency.
That person today has hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin!
Generally speaking, volatility with currencies is dangerous; it can make or break you. So that is just one more thing to keep in mind when you are gambling with bitcoin.
Conclusion: Bitcoin Gambling Has Its Pros and Cons, But The Benefits Can Outweigh the Drawbacks With a Good Online Casino
Gambling at bitcoin casinos has plenty of pros and cons—but a lot of the “drawbacks” are not necessarily all that disadvantageous, so long as you know what you are doing.
So if you have been thinking about playing at online casinos with bitcoin, give it a try.
ALL of my long time (from way before bitcoin) recommended casinos offer deposits and withdrawals with bitcoin so you can feel safe, secure and comfortable that even though you are using bitcoin you are still going to get paid when you win.
Start with our recommended casinos, and good luck.
Hopefully your gamble with bitcoin will pay off in huge ways you never expected!
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