As awareness of Bitcoins increases, so have questions regarding their legality. Although Bitcoins are not a traditional form of currency, they are actually not illegal and can be used in a number of legitimate ways. Among the many ways in which Bitcoins can be used is for gambling. In fact, the amount of casino games for using Bitcoins have continued to rapidly increase over the course of the last year. Just a few of the ways in which Bitcoins are used for gambling now include sports betting, poker, and online casinos.
In fact, a traditional casino in Las Vegas recently accounted that it would now accept Bitcoins as a form of payment. The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and Golden Gate Hotel both recently announced that they will accept Bitcoins as a form of payment. Currently, the virtual currency will only be accepted as payment for hotel rooms and associated purchases. The currency is not yet accepted for the purchase of chips. BTC will also be accepted in restaurants and gift shops in the two casinos. Patrons of the casinos will be able to make use of special iPads installed at cashier stations to process their Bitcoin payments.
The number of online bitcoin betting sites surged following the seizure of the infamous Silk Road. The black market website known as the Silk Road was shut down amid allegations that it served as a marketplace for illegal drugs. Although the site was primarily associated with drug trafficking, it did take advantage of the anonymous qualities linked to the digital currency to complete transactions with patrons. Eventually, the site’s owner was arrested and millions of dollars in Bitcoins were seized. While the value of Bitcoins initially took a tumble, the shutdown of the site served to draw increased attention to the virtual currency. Since then, the value of Bitcoins has continued to steadily increase and an increasing number of people have become new users of the currency. Among those users are those interested in participating in online gaming.
The reason that Bitcoins are used for betting stems back to the fact that Bitcoins are a form of digital currency. Currently, legislation regarding the virtual currency either does not exist at all or remains vague in nature. In almost all countries, Bitcoin remain unregulated and is not even recognized as a form of currency. As a result, laws that would otherwise pertain to gambling online are not applicable to Bitcoin casinos. Additionally, the very peer-to-peer nature of the Bitcoin network is designed to ensure anonymity, making the control of Bitcoin even more difficult for regulators.
In many ways, the virtual currency and online gambling are a marriage made in heaven. Just as the Internet is decentralized, so is the virtual currency. It is actually ideal for online gaming in many ways due to ability to make rapid deposits, lower transaction costs, and the non-existence of chargebacks.
For Bitcoin users who are considering using the currency for gambling, it is important to ensure that there are now laws that would otherwise restrict any type of online gambling within the jurisdiction in which they live. Also, in some countries around the world, it remains illegal to gamble unless you have attained a minimum age. In the United States, the current age requirement is between 18 and 21, based on the state in which you reside.
Today, there are many Bitcoin casinos in operation, many of which now operate in countries around the world. As Bitcoins become increasingly recognized as a legitimate unit of value, it is likely that the use of the currency for online gaming will increase. Without specific regulation in placing addressing the issue, Bitcoin casinos remain legitimate.