Firstly, I am not an expert in legal matters, but I will try to provide an accurate and factual answer to the legalities of crypto sports betting. The second point I want to make is that it’s complicated! Different countries have different rules about sports betting, and in some countries, including the US and China, the law actually varies from place to place within the country.
In the Beginning
Informal betting on sporting events has been around as long as sport itself. It seems like human nature to try to predict the outcome of any competition. So, while sports betting may seem a natural progression, what are the legal considerations?
Attitudes to sports betting vary from culture to culture, but in countries where it’s legal specialist individuals and companies have evolved to serve the bettor. These sportsbooks were originally high street outlets, making off-track betting available to the public. In a sense they were the internet sites of their day, allowing remote access to real events. Bookmakers were legalized in the UK in 1961, though there were many illegal bookmakers before this, including the famous Bella Thomasson of Bolton. Bookmaking was illegal in the US until May 2018, when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was overturned, allowing individual states to legalize it if they chose.
The US Scene
Since 2018 a number of states have legalized online betting, including New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. You’ll find a handy map here, showing which states are legal and which have legislation pending. In order to play, you must be within the jurisdiction that permits online gambling. Bear in mind that this map will change. These are the rules for online gambling in general, but what about cryptocurrencies? Wyoming is currently the only state to specifically legalize crypto sports betting. However, there are international crypto sportsbooks that are available to US residents.
The International Picture
Is crypto sports betting legal in your country? If you live in Australia or the UK, you’re lucky enough to be in a country with a liberal attitude to sports betting. It’s important to stress that legalized gambling is subject to strict laws that protect the bettor. So ‘liberal’ doesn’t mean unregulated. In other parts of the world the picture is more complicated.
The Chinese government officially disapproves of gambling, but because Hong Kong and Macau were European colonies their traditional betting culture is tolerated.
In Canada, state regulated sports betting has recently been introduced, but again the situation varies from one province to another.
It’s critical that you check the rules for your location. A good online sportsbook should be able to tell you before you sign up.
Australia is the top sports betting country, with 80% of adults playing. Ireland is another big player, with Singapore, Canada and Finland also in the top 5 gambling nations.
Why Crypto Sports Betting?
Crypto sports betting is a rapidly growing pastime, as we become ever more used to handling cryptocurrencies. There are several advantages to using crypto. Crypto transactions don’t go through traditional banks, so they are much more discreet than fiat currency transfers. They are usually much faster too, so you should get quicker cash outs. Transaction fees are low or sometimes non-existent. Because cryptocurrencies are in effect owned by the users, this makes them very secure. Also, being based on cryptography means they’re almost impossible to forge.
Betting On Sports And On Non-Sporting Events
Soccer, basketball, American football and horse racing are among the most popular sports to bet on, but you can gamble on almost any sporting event, professional or amateur. Nowadays it’s also possible to wager on the outcome of reality TV shows or even political elections. Many bookmakers will take bets on the outcome of the Oscars, the Emmy Awards and similar events as well.
How can I find out if crypto sports betting is legal where I am?
You may be able to find out by doing a simple internet search. A legit online bookmaker should have a list of the countries, states or provinces that can legally use their facilities. If it’s not obvious, then you should email customer support or talk to them on live chat if it’s available.
Is it easy to get started?
Crypto sports betting sites generally have simple sign up procedures. They want your custom, so it’s in their interests to facilitate this. After that, it’s just a matter of transferring some cryptocurrency to your account. If you’re an experienced sports bettor you’ll find all the familiar wagers available. However, if you’re a beginner, take it slowly and stick to straightforward bets.