With cryptocurrencies becoming more prevalent in online casinos, the common question these days is whether crypto casinos are legal or not. Now, this does remain a relatively open question for many countries around the world. Therefore, we’re here to answer it.
The issue is made worse because each country is not actually that specific about how legal these sites are either. In fact, there are often conflicting or controversial decisions made by local authorities that further muddy the waters.
As each region of the world has its own trends in relation to cryptocurrencies, we’re going to take a quick look at the legality of crypto casinos around the world. However, we are not professionals when it comes to legal matters, so you need to check within your own country’s laws too.
Read on to find out Bitcoin casinos legal status in your country!
Legality on a global scale
As we mentioned, each major area of the world has its own laws, or lack of them, relating to crypto and the casinos that have popped up because of this currency. We’re going to take a look at each area in a bit more detail.
Europe and the UK
If you want the easiest laws on cryptocurrency legality, then heading to Europe is the easiest way. The EU was at the forefront of legalizing cryptocurrency and is actually the furthest in front when it comes to regulating this decentralized currency. Malta is a great example of this. This is because it has several laws in place specifically surrounding the blockchain, which serves to add a layer of protection. You’ll notice that many crypto casinos hold an MGA license because of this.
The UK may be part of Europe, but it’s no longer in the EU and therefore doesn’t have to follow its laws. However, the country does recognize Bitcoin but has restrictions in place when it comes to actually betting using crypto. It’s not impossible, though. So casinos in the UK that want to offer crypto must be able to prove that their operations and funds come from a legitimate source before they can apply for the UKGC license.
Things are a little more blurred in the US regarding online casinos. Part of this is made harder by the fact that each state operates using their own laws and regulations when it comes to gambling in any form. Despite the lifting of PASPA back in 2018, there are still many states where online gambling is prohibited even when using fiat.
For crypto, there are actually no specific laws preventing crypto gambling. But, different parts of the country are in massive disagreement over this. This makes it quite hard to know what is permitted and what is not.
There are some countries where cryptocurrencies are straight out banned in any form. This means that even simply purchasing or mining for them is prohibited, let alone actually trying to place bets using them.
Some countries, like South Korea, have embraced cryptocurrency exchanges and made them legal. They have a successful scheme there, but it’s not clear whether they can actually use crypto for betting in any form. However, El Salvador has gone a step further and accepted Bitcoin as a legal currency.
Why is there a problem with crypto?
Many countries don’t recognize cryptocurrency as a real currency. And this impacts whether and how it can be used. The loophole here is that if a country doesn’t recognize it as real money, then there’s no issue for it to be used for online gambling. In the law’s eyes, players aren’t gambling with anything real. It’s the online equivalent of betting with jelly beans at home.
Pros and cons of using a crypto casino
So, with all the legality issues still in confusion in some parts of the world, why do players continue to risk the wrath of their local jurisdiction and play on crypto casinos? Well, there are several major benefits afforded to players who do use crypto online in this fashion.
For instance, crypto casinos give you a lot of anonymity. Even if you are using crypto when it is prohibited, it can be hard to track you down. And part of the reason for this is that many crypto casinos don’t require player verification when you sign up. In contrast, fiat casinos have to ask for proof of ID to ensure that the deposit amounts are coming from reliable and legitimate sources.
However, this can also be a major downside to these crypto casinos. This is because without regulation or licensing, many of these crypto casinos are little more than scam sites. They could simply take your crypto and then never payout. Furthermore, because you may be playing in a jurisdiction where there are no safeguards in place regarding the crypto casino, you will not be able to take a casino complaint anywhere or get your money back.
Staying safe and legal
Luckily for you, there are a growing number of crypto casinos that are awarded licenses from top jurisdictions. These sites do have to prove that they are reliable in order to get these licenses (most come from Curaçao at this time). This jurisdiction then oversees the way these crypto casinos are operating. It means that there is somewhere to go if you run into problems. In addition, if the casino operates fraudulently, then there is a governing body in place to implement punishments in the form of fines, or even removal of the license.
So, there you have it. While cryptocurrency casinos are a bit of a gray area, in most places it is legal to play at one. To help you out though, we only list the casinos that are 100% legal within the different jurisdictions and hold a license to prove that fact. You can check out the list of legal crypto casinos we recommend right here.
Are crypto casinos legal in the US?
Yes, but you will need to make sure you are playing at a licensed site if you want to stay safe and secure online.
Do countries accept crypto as a real currency?
Some do, but not all. Many countries don’t consider any crypto legal tender. In contrast, some have now recognized this.