With no government ties, Bitcoin is used to buy everything from blogging services to Brooklyn-made cupcakes. Theoretically, millions of dollars are being kept in the digital currency, and it s increasingly being used by specialized online gambling websites. But is Bitcoin gambling legal? Purely in the interests of journalism, I decided to get my hands on some of the currency. When I did so, Bitcoin, which has been around for a few years now, was fetching around $17 on most exchange sites. It has since risen to more than $20. It turns out that it s really easy for someone to give you Bitcoin, but it s less easy to just buy them from a third party. I ended up asking a friend with some Bitcoin to help — I told him I d buy him a couple beers later.
So, I created a Bitcoin account, and he shot me a few. The first gambling site I tried was SatoshiDice, an online dice game specifically designed for Bitcoin. Honestly, it s a pretty boring game. You just bet on whether a random dice roll willWhat’s the biggest gambling operation you’ve never heard of? Bitcoin gambling represents about half of all transactions of the digital currency, yet the phenomenon is not on the radar of lawmakers or law enforcement. Illustration by Getty Images. Mechs is a whale. More specifically, Mechs is the username of a well-known high roller whale on an online gambling website where there is nearly no limit on the size or frequency of bets. Last October, Mechs made a series of winning online wagers, culminating with a single all-or-nothing bet of a little more than $800,000. Mechs had a 96.2 percent chance of winning. Mechs lost. But what really set Mechs’ game apart wasn’t the odds, but the currency.
All of his bets were placed in Bitcoins. The wagers rolled instantly across the Internet in both directions, registered in Bitcoin’s public ledger, known as the blockchain. Mechs’ transactions were anonymous, but as public as a scoreboard at a high-school football game. While Mechs betted, otherWelcome to BC Casino The home of BITCOIN casino games. You can easily join our club for free and enjoy the best online casino games in the world ! Learn about the remarkable world of Bitcoin online gambling, its benefits, and the various sites that you can try in this comprehensive Bitcoin Gambling Guide. Bitcoin gambling and casino sites on the web. Find the latest info, promotions and reviews of your favorite sites. Welcome to Best Bitcoin Casino, your richest, friendliest, and most updated source of information on everything you ought to know about Bitcoin casinoWhen it comes to online gambling versus traditional bricks-and-mortar casinos, the internet has the upper hand. Online casinos don’t have to hire a bunch of employees, build fancy edifices or wow gamblers with marketing tactics to bring them in. On the other hand, internet gambling in the United States operates in a grey legal area. Online casino operators get away with it by hosting their sites outside of US borders in places like Costa Rica. It’s a profitable business to be in: according to the American Gaming Association, online gaming is a $4-6 billion market. That’s precisely why we’re seeing an entire industry crop up around bitcoin gambling. No article on gambling and bitcoins would be complete without mention of SatoshiDice. Recently sold for $11.5 million in BTC at the market price for bitcoins at the time, the site was able to avoid the ire of US regulators by blocking American IP addresses from gambling on its site. Yet anyone who was familiar with sending BTC directly toMichael Hajduk had sunk one year and about $20,000 into developing his online poker site, Infiniti Poker, when the U.S. online gambling market imploded. On April 15, 2011, a day now known in the industry as Black Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice shut down the three biggest poker sites accessible to players in the U.S., indicting 11 people on charges of bank fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling. Player accounts were frozen, leaving thousands of Americans without access to their funds. “It was like a bomb went off,” Hajduk says. To continue gambling, “U.S. players were uprooting their families and moving to Malta. Crazy stuff was happening. ” Hajduk, though, was barely fazed. Calgary-based Infiniti Poker, like several other new online gambling sites, plans to accept Bitcoin when it launches later this month. The online currency may allow American gamblers to avoid running afoul of complex U.S. laws that prevent businesses from knowingly accepting money transfers forA question I get asked a lot is whether Bitcoin gambling is legal, especially in the US.
So after 14 years in the online gambling industry and going through the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) of 2006, here is the answer as best as I understand it today. Like with so many legal questions the answer comes down to the specific language chosen by the people that wrote the law in question.
So let’s start by looking at what the UIGEA actually says. The full summary of the law published by the Federal Government can be read here . It’s also important to mention that this Act is a Federal law which means it applies to the entire US. There are other laws that have been passed by individual states which may be slightly different for residents of that state. Online Gambling Legality The Act actually prohibits the act of accepting money for internet gambling not the physical act of gambling online. Here is the text from the Federal website: The Act prohibits gambling businessesThe international online gambling industry is an estimated $30bn market, and growing. More importantly for Bitcoin, it s a global market that depends on fast, irreversible payments. Just like a ordinary casino chip in any land-based casino, digital bitcoin provides privacy, immediacy, and payment finality. Unlike most typical consumer purchases (where returns and chargebacks are usually legitimate), a wager is a one-way transaction. Of course, you may be dissatisfied with the outcome, but that does not justify a reimbursement. The online gambling industry has struggled with this fact for years. Plagued by chargebacks and fraudulent transactions, specialized payment methods and payment companies have sprouted up around the online casino world to address the problem of payment finality . Into the mainstream We are now witnessing the long-awaited arrival of mainstream online casinos and betting establishments into the bitcoin universe. This is the beginning of the second-generation.