Bitcoins are one of the fastest rising currencies in the online gambling sector, with more gambling sites turning to BTCs than ever before. They are safer, faster, cheaper and more anonymous than countless other popular methods and as a result they are quickly become the currency of choice.
But many players are new to Bitcoins and have some questions about them. In this guide, we aim to answer those questions and clarify a few concerns that aspiring Bitcoin gamblers have.
What Are Bitcoin Sports Betting Sites?
Bitcoin betting sites, simply put, are sportsbooks that accept Bitcoins as a payment method, either on its own or in combination with other payment methods. These sites can vary greatly in the way they look and operate; they can be owned by a plethora of different brands, and while some are brand new and have been accepting Bitcoins from the outset, others have been going for years and have just made the switch. .
In any case, the fact remains: These sites make it possible for Bitcoin users to gamble with their BTCs.
How do They Work?
The majority of sports betting websites don’t develop their own software. They work with third-party providers, who provide turnkey solutions for everyday options. Some providers literally give them everything they need, from the betting solutions to the virtual games and the payment providers, others offer one or more of these options individually.
The reason Bitcoin sites were somewhat rare in the beginning, is because they weren’t being adopted by these third-party providers, which means they weren’t being rolled-out to the sites. This has changed somewhat since then, but the onus has been placed on the sites to make the change.
Fortunately, the system is very easy to implement. They simply add a secure portal to their site that allows someone to click through, input their details, and then process payments. The money will then be converted into mBTCs, fiat currency or betting credits, and it’s these that can be used to gamble.
All money is added to a betting wallet, from where it can grow or depreciate. When the player is ready, they simply make a withdrawal and the money will be converted back into Bitcoins and sent to their Bitcoin Wallet.
Pros and Cons vs Non-Bitcoin Sites
How do Bitcoin sportsbooks compare to sites that don’t accept this currency and how much different are Bitcoins from options like PayPal, Skrill, and debit cards?
• Anonymity: Bitcoins are not as anonymous as many people believe, but they don’t leave the paper trail found with other methods and are as close as you can get to complete anonymity.
• Secure: If you keep your Bitcoin wallet safe then your funds will be safe, it’s as simple as that. It’s like cash in a real wallet—the onus is on you to secure it.
• Speed: Payments are processed instantly and this is true whether you are depositing or withdrawing.
• Fewer Details: A provider only needs your Bitcoin wallet ID to pay you money and you only need theirs to deposit. In theory, this means that an account can be created with less personal data, but in practice sportsbooks will still ask for all your details.
• Smaller Reputation: The biggest sportsbooks in the world have been the slowest to make the switch to Bitcoins, which means some allowances need to be made when it comes to reputations.
• Easy to Lose: While Bitcoins are safe, it is easy to lose them, more so than it is to lose the money in your bank account. Users have been known to lose Bitcoins after accidentally throwing external hard-drives away, for instance.
Tips for Bitcoin Sports Betting
Sportsbooks that accept Bitcoins are just like any other betting site. There are a few basic rules to follow, including proper bankroll management and using strategies where possible. However, there are also some specific things you can do to maximum your return:
1. Look for Bonuses: Bitcoin-only betting sites tend to have fewer overheads when it comes to banking options and they also struggle to compete with non-Bitcoin sites. As a result, they are more willing to offer bigger bonuses and you should always try to secure one of these before signing up.
2. Loyalty Schemes: Bitcoin betting is a great way to build loyalty points and start turning that regular play time into big money. Make sure your chosen site has a loyalty scheme. They are not very common on sportsbooks, but if your chosen sportsbook has a casino attached and you plan on using this, this is a necessity. There are also sportsbooks that award loyalty points every time you place a bet.
3. Ask for More: If you bet more, ask for more. You are a prized asset as a high-roller who uses Bitcoins, so make them chase you. You should expect at least some cash back or a higher matched deposit bonus. Again, these are rarer on sports betting sites than they are on casinos, but they still exist and the best sites will offer them.
4. Watch the Rate: If the site converts your Bitcoins into a currency like dollars when you deposit, only to convert them back when you withdraw, then you should keep a close eye on the exchange rate. Bitcoins are volatile and you can lose a lot of money by neglecting to pay attention.
The Best Bitcoin Sportsbooks
There are a few simple steps that you need to take to find the best Bitcoin sportsbooks and ensure your money stays safe. Be sure to check for all the following:
• Is it Regulated? Niche sites tend to take liberties that you just won’t get from other sites. They are more likely to be scams and to try and rip you off. So, the first thing you should do is make sure it is regulated. Look for a licensed authority and be sure to check they are actually licensed and don’t just claim to be. The biggest regulators are the UK, Sweden, and Malta authorities, but there are several more.
• Is it Safe? An SSL certificate is the bare minimum for sites like this. You should always insist on the very best encryption across the board.
• Is it Audited? The best sites are independently audited. This is not essential, but it’s a good sign. Look for a badge from companies like eCogra and be sure to click it and check the resulting report.
• Do they Have Support? A lot of online gambling sites cut corners with regards to customer support, offering no phone support and insisting on limited Live Chat and endless FAQs. This is not a good sign, because it means you’ll be left frustrated and annoyed if you have an issue. What’s more, while a lack of support doesn’t indicate a scam, it’s worth noting that scam sites tend to have barebones support and rarely have a legitimate phone number.
How to Deposit with Bitcoins
To deposit money into a Bitcoin sports betting website, you first need a Bitcoin Wallet. This can be downloaded for free, after which it can be stored on your hard-drive or in a cloud. This wallet works just like a traditional wallet—if you lose it, you lose your Bitcoins—so keep it safe.
To get Bitcoins, you either need to receive them from a friend, or purchase them from a digital currency exchange. They will be entered into your Bitcoin Wallet via your unique Wallet ID, which is a long string of characters. An exchange is also where you can sell your Bitcoins for fiat currency.
Once you have your funds then you just need to sign up, visit the Cashier, and select the Bitcoin option.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bitcoin Sports Betting
Still have a few questions about Bitcoin sportsbooks and sports betting? Take a look at these frequently asked questions and answers as we explore more about Bitcoin betting.
Are They Safe?
For the most part, yes. There is nothing inherently risky about Bitcoin gambling, certainly no more so than credit or debit card gambling. However, you will need to make sure the site is regulated and accredited and you will also need to do what you can to keep your activity secure.
Don’t use unsecured Wi-Fi networks, don’t give your password or other details to anyone, and make sure you double and triple check all deposit amounts so that you don’t spend more than intended.
Are They Fair?
Again, this is all down to the individual website and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Bitcoin gambling in particular. The obligation is on you, the player, to determine whether a particular site is fair or not.
There are a few ways that you can do this. One of these is to see if they use an independent auditor and a respectable regulator. Another is to make sure you stick with the ones that are regulated by authorities in your country. That way, if anything happens you can take up the issue with them and get your money back.
Are They Legal?
A Bitcoin betting site is only legal if it operates under the guidance of a regulatory authority and in countries where those authorities operate. You should double check to make sure the site is legal in your country.
If you reside in a country where online gambling is illegal, then you cannot gamble legally and safely on a Bitcoin sportsbook. They may suggest otherwise and give you some spiel about how digital currencies somehow make everything legal, but it’s not true and these sites are trying to scam you.
Can I Use Bitcoins with Other Methods?
In the early days of Bitcoin gambling you couldn’t use it alongside more traditional payment methods. This was all down to the way that payment systems are established on online gambling sites, as discussed already. However, that has changed and as Bitcoins have become more common, they have been added to more casinos.
These days there are a number of gambling sites that accept both Bitcoins and traditional payment methods. However, these sites often insist that you withdraw via the same method that you used to deposit, at least until the deposit has been cleared.
This means that if you deposit $1,000 worth of Bitcoins, you will need to withdraw $1,000 to your Bitcoin Wallet before you can send additional funds elsewhere.
What are the Limits on Bitcoin Sportsbooks?
Bitcoin betting sites are renowned for having larger limits and are a big draw for high rollers. Their limits can be in the thousands and that’s because it’s easier to process large sums of money through Bitcoin Wallets than it is through other methods.
Many debit card and credit card providers apply fees to all transactions. These fees can be less than 3% and in some cases they can be less than 1%. Many gambling websites will take the hit and not pass these fees onto their customers, but if they are processing tens of thousands of dollars at a time for each member, those amounts can grow quickly.
What’s more, big transfers require complicated paperwork, tax notifications and more, and that’s why many betting sites place limits on bets, deposits, and withdrawals. With Bitcoins, there are very few issues. No one cares whether the transaction is 1 Bitcoin or 1,000 Bitcoins, even though the difference could be millions of dollars.
Of course, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a betting site willing to process millions worth of Bitcoins as they still need to keep their books in order and this is still a huge and concerning transfer, but you will find that they are more willing to process sums in the tens of thousands.
What Betting Markets are Available?
There are very few limits with regards to which bets you can place and which markets you can place them on. Bitcoin betting sites are just as diverse and comprehensive as other betting sites.
Of course, this wasn’t always the case. In the beginning, Bitcoin sportsbooks were niche and their markets were therefore very limited. The sportsbooks simply didn’t have the funds or the means to offer a large number of betting markets. That has changed over the years though and these days there are very few differences (if any) between a Bitcoin betting site and a non-Bitcoin betting site.
Conclusion: Bitcoin Sports Betting
Bitcoin sports betting is the future. It’s arguably the quickest and easiest ways to place bets online and it can be used by players all over the world. It’s also being recognised by more and more sports betting sites, going from something that was available on a handful of obscure and new sites, to something that even the biggest sites in the world are embracing.
You only need to look at other payment methods to see how quickly the industry adopts them. Neteller went from an obscure payment method to one that was being used industrywide in the space of a year or so, and we saw the same thing with PayPal.
Bitcoin gambling is moving a little slower than that as there are more complications, but there will likely be a time when the industry makes one big shift and it will probably be precipitated by one of the world’s biggest sportsbooks making the transition. When that happens, the others will follow.
That can only be a good thing.