Bitcoin is the newest kid on the block as far as payment methods are concerned. In fact, many online sportsbooks are embracing this technology with many more expected to include it as one of their payment methods in the future.
This technology (blockchain) first surfaced in 2009 but it was only until 2011 that the digital currency broke into the mainstream market. One of the main features about Bitcoin is that it’s decentralized. This means that it doesn’t require a central bank to regulate its operations.
Instead, the currency operates by making use of peer-to-peer connections, thereby making it a unique currency. Other than that, security, low to zero fees, and fast processing times are some of the factors that continue to appeal to many bettors.
This review goes deep into Bitcoin as a payment method in online sportsbooks, what it is, it’s advantages and disadvantages, and its legality among other crucial topics. Read on to find out more.
Top Bitcoin Sportsbooks of 2020
These are the best sportsbooks that we recommend as of 2020 based on bonuses, odds and overall betting experience:
- Bitcoin & US Players Accepted
- Promo Code: BOL1000 (Minimum Deposit: $55)
- Bitcoin & US Players Accepted
- Promo Code: SB1000 (Minimum Deposit: $25)
- Bitcoin & US Players Accepted
- Promo Code: MYB100 (10x Rollover Requirement)
- Bitcoin & US Players Accepted
- Promo Code: XBET50 (3x to 10x Rollover Requirement)
- Bitcoin & US Players Accepted
- Promo Code: ROOKIE100 (6x Rollover Requirement)
Advantages in Gambling
There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding Bitcoin and its use for online gambling. The basic truth is that there are several advantages and disadvantages associated with this payment method. Take a look at them and then you can decide whether this banking method is suitable for you.
- Security: As we have already touched on before, security is one of the biggest reasons why many players have started using bitcoins as an online gambling payment method. As long as you take all the necessary precautions in protecting your wallet, Bitcoin is one of the safest ways for funding your online betting accounts.
- Privacy: Gambling is often socially stigmatized as an unhealthy activity, and many would rather keep their gambling activities private, even if they’re simply playing it for fun. Thanks to Bitcoin’s anonymity, gamblers can safely use bitcoins without worrying about being judged by others for their choice of entertainment.
- Fast Payment: You can withdraw your money instantly using bitcoins as a payment method. Rarely do transactions take more than an hour, and even then, it is still way faster than bank transfers or international transfers which can take up to five business days or more.
- Zero transaction fees: Transaction fees are one of the most annoying things a gambler has to endure every time they send and receive from their online sportsbook. Thanks to Bitcoin, this is all in the past because you won’t incur any transaction fees for using Bitcoin. Having said that, chances are your sportsbook may impose certain fees. Be sure to read through the terms and conditions to avoid surprises.
- Zero third parties: Bitcoin doesn’t require third parties to facilitate transactions. This means you can avoid hefty fees and above all remain secure because you won’t have to provide your details. This also enables fast transaction because funds don’t get rerouted.
- Unaffected by inflation: Now, this is a great advantage because there are about 21 million bitcoins available, unlike fiat currencies.
- Bitcoin is not currency-specific: Unlike country-specific fiat currencies, Bitcoin is unique in that it’s standard across the board. Therefore, gamblers can play at a sportsbook that accepts Bitcoin that would have otherwise rejected them.
Disadvantages in Gambling
Nothing’s perfect in this world, including bitcoins. Here are some drawbacks:
- Not available in all online sportsbooks: Bitcoin is not a mainstream payment method such as PayPal or Visa. Not all online sportsbooks accept Bitcoin at the moment, but this is bound to change in the future as more sportsbooks embrace it.
- It is volatile: Bitcoin is highly volatile, and it’s hard to use as a currency when you are unsure about what it’s actually worth.
What About the Legality?
What an interesting question. The answer can vary. Different countries have different regulations. For instance, laws in Costa Rica and Panama on the usage of bitcoins for gambling purposes differ from the U.S regulations.
The former has established itself as the central hub of online gambling using bitcoins. This is despite the law not being explicit in terms of stating that bitcoin gambling is legal. On the other hand, it doesn’t state that it’s illegal.
Nonetheless, sports betting is legal at the federal level after the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was abolished. In terms of online gambling, it’s only in 7 states that it’s legal. Sixteen others are still debating whether they should legalize it or not.
Others like Utah have banned it while the remaining don’t look like they are interested in discussing it any time soon. However, even for the 7 states where it’s legal, other payment methods may be blocked when accessing offshore sportsbooks but the situation is different for Bitcoin. Since it has no jurisdiction, US bettors can use it to play on offshore sites.
Some of the countries that have passed explicit laws banning bitcoin gambling include Vietnam, Iceland, China, Russia, Ecuador, and Kyrgyzstan.
Safety and Security
Bitcoins are managed in a wallet and that wallet is unique to each individual buyer. The person who owns the wallet is responsible for making sure two things:
- They place multiple verification levels on their account, and
- They do not share their verification keys with anyone or make them available to anyone.
The accounts themselves are encrypted using the keys so instead of being attached to a person’s name, the accounts are dedicated to the person’s actual key. Using Bitcoin is not 100% anonymous but is much more discreet than using a person’s name and personal information.
With most online sportsbooks, you will be charged various fees for deposits using a credit card, wire transfers, Western Union, and bank checks. However, with Bitcoin, you can rest easy because there are no fees charged. The main reason is that there are no fees charged to the online sportsbook to make these transactions.
Bitcoin is still a new payment method in terms of gambling. This means its popularity is still in its baby steps compared to fiat currencies. Therefore, to entice new players, bitcoin gambling sites offer lucrative bonuses to bettors who make deposits and withdrawals using bitcoin.
Some of the common bonuses include 1st deposit bonus, free games with payouts done in Bitcoin, and sign up bonuses among others. Nevertheless, you’ll find the best bonuses in sportsbooks that exclusively accept bitcoin as their main deposit method.
For instance, a 100% bonus will be capped at $10,000 and above for bitcoin while fiat equivalent is capped at a mere $1,000. Even so, fiat currency sportsbooks still offer competitive bonuses.
How to Set Up a Bitcoin Wallet and Fund Your Bitcoin Sportsbook Account
Setting up a Bitcoin Wallet or Bitcoin Account is rather easy but people many look at it as a very complicated process. The reality is it is no different than setting up a basic online account at any business. Here’s a step by step process of how to set up a Bitcoin wallet.
1. Learn More About Cryptocurrencies
The first thing that we recommend you should do before creating your first wallet is to go online and read more about cryptocurrencies. The more you learn about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, the better off you will be. Besides, there are a lot of scammers lying in wait for unsuspecting gamblers.
2. Choose a Bitcoin Wallet
Similar to how you must have a bank account to perform transactions between banks, you’ll need a Bitcoin wallet to fund your bitcoin sportsbook. The official Bitcoin website will be your first stop.
You must understand that there are two types of Bitcoin wallets: Web-based and desktop wallets. The only difference between the two is in the installation. A web-based wallet doesn’t require any installation. You only need an internet connection and a browser to access it.
On the other hand, a desktop wallet requires installation because it works like an app. The obvious disadvantage here is space. Nevertheless, you’ll be more secure because you won’t need any third-party software to access your wallet.
We recommend using a wallet from Coinbase or Blockchain. We’ve found both Wallets to be reliable and safe. For the latter, both of them have multiple verification aspects such as text, email, and password verification. It’s also recommended to make use of two-step verification.
This improves security because apart from the usual login, the wallet provider will send you an email or text with a verification code to make sure you’re the one accessing the wallet.
After setting up your wallet, the provider will assign you a unique bitcoin address. This will work similar to your bank account and it’s what you’ll use to send, receive, and buy Bitcoin. Since you’re just starting out, we recommend you buy a small amount of Bitcoin, even if you are only going to use it to receive the money you win from the sportsbook. This is because it will give you a better understanding of how it works.
3. Loading Your Bitcoin Wallet
Once your Bitcoin wallet is up and running, it’s time to deposit some Bitcoins into it. For this, you’ll have up to 5 ways to fund your wallet. Here they are:
- Bitcoin ATMs: You guessed right! You’ll be able to access bitcoins through special ATMs similar to how traditional ATMs dispense money. Even so, note that these ATMs are only available in cities that have absorbed blockchain technology.
- Bitcoin exchanges: BTC China and BItstamp are some of the renown bitcoin exchange services available. Here, you’ll be able to trade different currencies such as cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies.
- Bitcoin mining: Chances are you’ve heard of this term because it’s the most popular way of getting bitcoins. Mining works by solving complex math problems and fast for that matter. The first person to get the answer gets a reward in the form of a finite number of bitcoins. To solve these problems, you must have a computer with a powerful processor.
- Bitcoin wallet: It’s also possible to use your wallet to receive bitcoins from other users.
- Over the counter: Bitcoins carry a certain price and even though it fluctuates, you can purchase them from another user at a fixed price.
4. Sign Up at a Bitcoin Sportsbook
We understand how difficult it is to find legitimate bitcoin gambling sites. That’s why compiled a comprehensive list containing top bitcoin sportsbooks. Choose one from this list and sign up by providing your email address and password among other details. Afterward, navigate to the sportsbook’s payment page and select Bitcoin.
5. Deposit at the Sportsbook
Once you select Bitcoin as your preferred payment method, a new window will pop up. Here, you’ll only need two things. That’s your bitcoin address and that of the sportsbook. From there, you’ll need to access your Bitcoin wallet to send money.
Specify the number of Bitcoins you wish to send and click on the “Confirm” button to authorize the transaction.
Depositing Bitcoin at a Sportsbook
The steps involved here aren’t as many as those in depositing. Only two steps and you’ll be done:
1. Log into Your Bitcoin Sportsbook
Sign in to your account using your credentials and head over to the sportsbook’s payment page. From the list of withdrawal methods available,
2. Enter Your Address and Authorize the Transaction
In the final step, you’ll need to provide your Bitcoin address as prompted in the next window. Afterward, you can specify the amount of money you want to withdraw and authorize the transaction. What’s left to do is to wait but that shouldn’t take more than 24 hours.
Bitcoin Transaction Times on Gambling Sites
Bitcoin is the fastest payment method among all others. In fact, for deposits, players should expect the funds to reflect in the sportsbook within 15 minutes. That’s quite fast but this transaction will be labeled as “unconfirmed” but that will clear in less than 3 hours.
For withdrawals, players should expect to have the winnings in their wallets in 24 hours after authorizing the transaction.