As more people than ever have become aware of Bitcoin, Etherium and other cryptocurrencies, there has been a parallel growth of interest in cryptocurrency casinos. According to Google trends, which collects data on search terms online, interest in crypto and Bitcoin casinos has doubled over the last two years.
If you own crypto and are interested in using it for online gaming, this best bitcoin casinos guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know about Bitcoin casinos. You will learn what these websites offer, who they cater for, the risks and opportunities of using them and insights into how to choose the right casino for your needs.
Cryptocurrency casinos offer great deals and welcome bonuses of as much as 100% (or more!) for new customers. So, should you be using one?
Read our guide to find out everything you need to know about cryptocurrency casinos.
What is a Bitcoin casino?
A Bitcoin casino is any online gambling or betting website which allows you to place stakes or receive your winnings in a cryptocurrency. Visitors to these websites can make bets in popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, TRON, Dogecoin, Litecoin and many more. In all other respects they are essentially the same as regular online gaming websites which only accept traditional fiat currencies such as Dollars, Euros or Pounds.
Cryptocurrency casinos offer a wide variety of games of chance much like any other online casino. Using cryptocurrency casinos you can play games such as:
- Slot machines
- Dice games
- And much more
There are also cryptocurrency sports betting websites like Sportsbetio that let you wager on sports with Bitcoin and the like.
History of Bitcoin & online casinos
Since the blockchain itself is a relatively new development, most Bitcoin casinos are fairly young, and this approach to gaming is not yet highly established. That being said, interest in these casinos is certainly growing and it seems likely that it will increase in future as more people own and use crypto.
It is generally believed that the first form of crypto gaming took place on the Satoshi Dice website, which was launched in 2012. Satoshi Dice is a game of chance where you bet on whether the next number rolled will be higher or lower than your wager.
It has been argued that crypto currencies’ wider success can at least in part be attributed to cryptocasinos. After the introduction of the Satoshi Dice game, the number of transactions with cryptocurrencies rose significantly. This then generated further interest in the concept and attracted more buyers.
Over time, a growing number of increasingly sophisticated cryptocurrency casinos have emerged - especially after 2017 when mainstream interest in crypto grew dramatically. Today there are hundreds of cryptocurrency gaming platforms available, many of which have thousands of users every single day.
The user experience with many modern Bitcoin casinos is almost identical to that of using a standard gaming website. Indeed, many use the same underlying gaming software which you will find on regular casino websites and the majority offer very similar games to what you will have already seen on fiat casinos.
Pure or hybrid crypto casino?
Generally speaking, there are two types of cryptocurrency casino online:
Pure crypto casinos
On these websites you can only place bets and receive winnings in a cryptocurrency. For example you may place a bet in Bitcoin and receive your winnings in Bitcoin too. Popular pure crypto casinos include:
- Satoshi Dice
Hybrid crypto casinos
Hybrid crypto casinos accept a combination of fiat and crypto currencies to make payments or receive winnings. Exactly how this works depends on the casino itself. For example, with the website Youbetcha, you can deposit and withdraw in cryptocurrencies, yet your balance is held in numerous currencies depending on your location. Each casino sets up their own rules for how they accept crypto, so it’s always worth checking the terms and conditions before depositing any money.
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10 reasons to use crypto casinos
So, why would you choose to use a cryptocurrency casino rather than a traditional gaming website? Since almost all the games available are identical to what is available elsewhere, why would you choose to spend Bitcoin or Ethereum with these websites?
Here are 10 reasons why you might choose to use a cryptocurrency casino:
- Lets you play with the best odds
Cryptocurrency casinos are often not regulated by any central body which means they do not have the same fees to pay as regular casinos. This saving is passed on to the consumer in the form of better odds. Fundamentally a Bitcoin casino may give you a higher chance of winning than traditional casinos which are more highly regulated by national authorities. Bitcoin casinos do not need to turn as high a profit as their fiat-using competitors, so you have a chance of winning bigger.
- Welcome bonuses
Practically every Bitcoin casino offers new customers a welcome bonus. These are typically in the range of 100% of your deposit - or even more. Compared to the welcome bonuses on traditional casinos which may amount to little more than a few Pounds or Euros and handful of free spins, the welcome bonus with crypto casinos seems significantly more attractive.
These huge welcome bonuses are of course designed to bring in new customers. So, as these casinos grow in popularity it is unlikely that the size of the welcome bonuses will remain as generous as they are today.
Bear in mind too that there will normally be a turnover requirement if you choose to apply any welcome bonuses. You will have to play a certain number of games before you are allowed to withdraw your winnings – always check the small print!
- No fees for transactions
One of the most attractive features of cryptocurrency casinos is the fact that you will pay next to nothing to deposit or withdraw your money. Thanks to the blockchain and the fact that there are no middlemen who will charge transaction fees, your funds go directly to you and transactions are recorded securely on the blockchain.
- Anonymity and privacy
Cryptocurrency casinos offer a high level of privacy and near anonymity. It is almost impossible for anyone to know who you are on the blockchain and this means that your gaming activities remain entirely private. This is of course appealing for anyone who wishes to keep their gambling away from prying eyes and auditing authorities.
To sign up to these websites you need to provide nothing more than an email address. There are no in-depth “know your customer” requirements, and you do not need to present any proof of identity such as passport scans or utility bills. This anonymity means that if the casino gets breached, no one would be able to find out about your personal gambling activities.
- Rapid payment
One of the great advantages of cryptocurrencies is that they permit you to send and receive value almost instantaneously. Compare this with regular online casinos - where it can often take hours or even days for you to receive your winnings - and the benefits are clear.
- You will not be stung by frozen accounts
A real pain point for many users of online casinos is that they log in to find that their account has been frozen or they have been barred from sending money to the casino itself by their bank. Cryptocurrency casinos mean that you can avoid this kind of frustration – there is no central body overseeing the cryptocurrency and you can do what you want with it. There are no banks or middlemen so there is no one to freeze your account and stop you from accessing your money whenever you want.
- No taxes
If you live in a country that taxes gambling winnings, using a cryptocurrency casino could be very attractive. Since cryptocurrencies are outside the control of governments and may not be viewed as a genuine form of value by central banks, you may not be liable to pay taxes on any winnings. Of course, it’s always smart to read up on the laws in your country to ensure you are compliant.
- Potentially more secure
One of the most attractive features of the blockchain is the fact that it is an immutable ledger and all transactions are recorded publicly. This means that you can be confident that your money will be transferred safely and transparently - it would be very difficult for a scam casino to trick you out of your cryptocurrency and get away with it.
- Avoids FX fees
One advantage of crypto casinos is the fact that you can play them from anywhere in the world using Bitcoin or another currency. You do not need to hold foreign exchange and you therefore avoid money transfer fees.
So, if, for example, you noticed an incredible offer on a Bitcoin casino the other side of the world you would not need to convert your money into that country’s currency. Instead, you could immediately use the Bitcoin you already have. On the other hand, if you were to convert Fiat currency you could expect to pay anywhere between 3% and 5% of the value of the monies you were exchanging.
- Allows unlimited transactions
Many cryptocurrency casinos allow customers to make unlimited transactions - unlike more traditional and regulated entities that will set specific limits on the number of wagers you are allowed to make.
The benefits of using cryptocurrency casinos are clear. Nevertheless, they are far from mainstream, even within the cryptocurrency community. According to statistics from website State of The Dapps, cryptocurrency casinos rarely receive more than 1,000 visitors per day and many receive barely any customers at all. Of course, this is partly due to the fact that relatively few people own cryptocurrency as a proportion of the global population. Nevertheless, given all the benefits outlined above, why aren’t more people flocking to these sites?
Drawbacks of using cryptocurrency casinos
Despite the many attractions of using cryptocurrency casinos, it is also important to be aware of some of the drawbacks before using one. Here are some of the key issues with using a cryptocurrency casino:
- The nature of cryptocurrency
The instability of major cryptocurrencies is well established - many people are highly aware that virtual coins can drop in value overnight or rise meteorically. As a consequence, investing in crypto already feels enough like gambling to many!
Furthermore, many people continue to see cryptocurrency as a long term investment rather than a utility to spend on activities such as gambling.
A final issue is the fact that the value of Bitcoin and other currencies fluctuates so much and so fast. This means that even if you won on a small bet, the winnings could be lower than what you would own by simply holding on to your money.
All of these factors combined dis-incentivise some people who own cryptocurrency from gambling with it.
- Legal grey areas
There are a number of legal grey areas around using cryptocurrency casinos too.
For example, most of these casinos do not require users to identify themselves or provide any evidence of who they are, so it is possible for literally anyone to use these sites. This means, for instance, that someone who is underage and does not fully understand the risks of gambling could end up using a casino.
There is also the issue of national regulation. Many cryptocurrency casinos allow anyone from anywhere to use their services - this means that people from countries where it is illegal to gamble can get online and place bets. That would of course involve breaking the law.
Finally, there is the issue of money laundering. It is a fact that some criminal groups use crypto to launder their money and casinos are an effective way of doing this - especially if they are not regulated and user identities are kept anonymous.
- Lack of regulation
For many people, one of the great appeals of cryptocurrency casinos is the fact that they are not regulated. However if we consider this from the other side of the coin there are certain disadvantages in crypto casinos being unregulated.
First, it is relatively difficult to decide if you can really trust a cryptocurrency casino if it has not undergone auditing or complies with regulation. It might be fine - but it could also rip you off.
The lack of regulation also means that it is much harder for you to do anything about it if you feel you’ve been swindled. Taking your complaint to an independent ombudsman would normally fall on deaf ears.
Being aware of these issues is of course important if you are looking at using a cryptocurrency casino. Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to feel more secure when you choose to use these websites.
How to choose a reliable Bitcoin casino
If you have decided that you would like to use a cryptocurrency casino, there are a number of things you can do to decide if an individual casino is safe and reliable. Once you have selected a handful of casino websites, check the following:
Is it provably fair?
Cryptocurrency casinos know that they must do more to win their customers' trust since they cannot offer the same guarantees as more traditional casinos. One way they do this is to show they are provably fair. So, what does ‘provably fair’ mean?
All online casinos rely on software algorithms to run their games. They usually involve some kind of digital ‘dice roll’ which generates a random outcome for each game (although the house always has an advantage). A provably fair online casino is one that makes its algorithms available for anyone to verify and ensure that they are indeed random rather than pre-programmed.
So, once you have found a cryptocurrency casino that you would like to use, the first thing to check is whether it is provably fair or not. Most of the best cryptocurrency casinos display their provably fair credentials somewhere on the homepage of the website.
One of the best ways of deciding whether or not to use a cryptocurrency casino is to read reviews by customers and independent experts. There are a number of websites where you can read reviews including sites like Trustpilot or Casino.Guru.
There are also a number of blogs run by independent experts who analyse these websites. You should always read between the lines and verify whether or not the author benefits by promoting specific casinos.
See where it is registered
It is not necessarily obligatory for a crypto casino to comply with regulations in any country. Nonetheless, many of the best-known crypto casinos have chosen to be regulated in respected jurisdictions such as Curaçao in order to give customers confidence that they are legitimate.
Regulation around cryptocurrency casinos varies from one country to the next. It is therefore a good idea to check where the casino that you plan to use is audited and regulated.
Assess their social media presence
Most Bitcoin casinos and cryptocurrency casinos will have a social media presence. Spend some time reading comments posted by other users and read how frequently the company posts updates. This will give you an idea of how legitimate they are and what some of their users think of them.
By taking the time to learn a little more about the cryptocurrency casino you are interested in you can feel more confident that it is a legitimate business.
How to start using a crypto casinos
To begin using a cryptocurrency casino you will of course need to have access to the cryptocurrencies that are accepted on the website of your choice. Bitcoin casinos are probably the most common although there are many sites that let you gamble with Ethereum, Litecoin, TRON and more.
To begin gambling on a cryptocurrency casino you will first need to purchase the cryptocurrency of your choice and then load it onto a crypto wallet. There are several different places that you can buy cryptocurrencies, including:
- And many more
It is often necessary to transfer money from your bank account to a wallet before then purchasing the cryptocurrency which will be stored in your wallet. Watch out because at this point some banks are very suspicious of customers depositing money on cryptocurrency wallets or buying directly from crypto exchanges. To avoid having your account frozen, use a gaming friendly payment account, brands like Xace are great for this, which are specially designed for gaming and allows you to use your account with less hurdles.
Once you have access to crypto currencies it is then simply a case of signing up to a cryptocurrency casino and placing bets.
How to choose the right cryptocurrency casino for you
As noted above there are hundreds of cryptocurrency casinos that you can spend your money on. How should you choose between these different websites?
Here are some key considerations to bear in mind when you are deciding which cryptocurrency casino to use:
- Do they have any special welcome bonuses?
As noted above, many cryptocurrency casinos try to attract new customers with special welcome bonuses, providing you with the equivalent of 100% or even more of what you deposit. For example, if you put in 100 Euros’ worth of Bitcoin, you would be given an additional 100 Euros’ worth to play with. These bonuses should not be the only factor in choosing a casino but may well sway your decision if you are undecided between two different providers.
- What is the turnover requirement?
Check the terms and conditions of any Bitcoin casino to ensure that the turnover requirements are reasonable. Some cryptocurrency casinos will expect you to place tens or even hundreds of bets before allowing you to withdraw your earnings. Try to find a casino which will not lock you in for longer than you think you will be comfortable with.
- Check it is reliable
As noted above, it is very important to choose a cryptocurrency casino that shows it is provably fair. You may also want to check that it is regulated by a trusted and respected authority (of course, this may mean that the casino’s compliance fees are higher so you may not get such good odds).
- See what perks are available
Some cryptocurrency casinos offer a number of parks such as VIP programmes. This may mean that you get faster withdrawals, a bigger deposit bonus or can access higher limits on certain games. If you are a serious gamer, then these kinds of perks will be attractive.
- Customer service
Quality cryptocurrency casinos will provide their customers with reliable and real time customer service. It should be possible for you to contact the provider via telephone or a web chat at any time of the day and they should have an email address and preferably a postal address displayed on their website. Before you even sign up it is perfectly acceptable to get in touch with them to ask for any clarifications you may have.
- Is it established?
Right now, most cryptocurrency casinos are relatively young so it is hard to gauge how well established most of them are. That being said it is also worth taking some time before opening an account with a brand-new casino. Seeing that a business has regular customers and a strong social media presence gives you the confidence that your money is safe.
Once again a great way of verifying whether or not a casino is established is to find out if it is regulated. Being regulated is not necessarily obligatory for crypto casinos, so you can be confident that those firms which have gone through the licencing process are bona fide businesses
Is it legal to use Bitcoin casinos?
Yes, generally speaking it is perfectly legal to use a cryptocurrency casino. As long as you live in a country where cryptocurrencies are permitted and where gambling is allowed, there is no reason that you should not be able to use a cryptocurrency casino.
Before you start using a cryptocurrency casino, you should familiarise yourself with the laws of the country you live in with regards to online gaming and taxes. Depending on what the rules are, you may be required to set aside some proportion of your earnings if there are capital gains taxes on earnings with Bitcoin or gambling. You would also be wise to keep proper records of how much you have bet and what your winnings or losses are.
Bear in mind that if you choose to use an unregulated cryptocurrency casino you may not have recourse to any legal body if you feel that you have been a victim of wrongdoing. This is why it is always smart to take the time to get to know your cryptocurrency casino of choice and select those which offer the best customer service (and preferably those which are regulated).
What are the risks of using a cryptocurrency casino?
There is always risk involved in gambling. However, it is important to be aware of certain additional risks which may arise if you choose to use a cryptocurrency casino. These include:
- The casino may get closed down
Cryptocurrency casinos are currently not highly regulated and in many jurisdictions they exist in something of a legal grey area. As a result, there is a chance that they may get closed down by the authorities in future. You may get little warning this is happening, and could lose access to your money.
- Criminal activities
Unfortunately, criminals may choose to use cryptocurrency casinos to launder their ill- gotten gains. This is especially risky in games like poker where criminals may set up a number of stooges in an online game so one person wins all the money. You could unwittingly get caught-up in such a game.
- Volatility of many crypto currencies
At present most people treat cryptocurrencies as an asset rather than a utility due to the fact that they fluctuate so wildly. As noted above, winnings or losses on a crypto currency casino could be magnified due to a rise or fall in the value of the currency you are using.
For example if you lost 100 Euros worth of crypto currency on a casino, that might not feel like the end of the world. However, if that currency suddenly trebled in value overnight, it would feel as if you had lost 300 Euros worth! Of course, the same goes for winning - and this is certainly part of the appeal of crypto casinos.
You can reduce most of these risks by ensuring that you do not keep your cryptocurrency stored with the casino itself. As soon as you have won or lost money, make sure that you withdraw all your crypto to your wallet immediately. This means that you avoid the risk of losing money should the casino get closed down.