How Safe Are Bitcoin Casinos?
Over the course of the past decade cryptocurrency has emerged from the shadows to become a global powerhouse. So much so that the number of Bitcoin casinos in operation has risen dramatically in recent years.
Gamblers are now recognising the advantages that Bitcoin has over traditional currencies and are using it to their benefit. However there has been concern from some players and industry experts that cryptocurrency casinos may not be as safe as first thought.
In this article we analyse those claims to help you stay safe whilst gambling online.
Why Does Safety Matter?
For many players unscrupulous providers are just part and parcel of the gambling world, and what’s the worst that can happen after all? Well, if you happen to fall foul of an unscrupulous provider, you could not only be risking your finances but your freedom as well.
Many unlicensed online gambling companies invite their customers to take part in additional lottery services. This might seem like a good thing, but unfortunately as these lotteries are not licensed and regulated, they are illegal making taking part in them illegal also.
If you are discovered by the authorities to be playing illegal lotteries, ignorance will be no defence in court. Your oversight could result in strict financial penalties along with a custodial sentence for serious cases.
In addition to this there are all the usual risks of using an unsafe gambling provider including data theft and actual financial theft.
To be sure you’re abiding by all of the rules, you need to be sure you’re playing at a trustworthy online gaming site. Safety and trust are two things that not only you should consider, but the provider should consider also. Many people opt to gamble with 777 Casino as they are seen as an online casino committed to player safety, they have invested a staggering amount of time and money into ensuring they are regulated and fully compliant, earning themselves a reputation among gamblers as a solid, dependable and much fun UK online casino.
Are Bitcoin Casinos Regulated?
In the UK all casinos that offer their services to British gamblers, whether online or offline are regulated by the Gambling Commission, this included Bitcoin casinos. For a new gambling company to open its physical or virtual doors, they must first obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission to do so.
In order to satisfy the Commission that they deserve a licence, companies must demonstrate their ability to offer safeguard the sensitive data of their customers and to operate in a socially responsible way.
Unfortunately, some online casinos do manage to slip the net and offer their services to customers without a licence. If you are worried about the safety of a supplier you can click HERE to check if they are fully licenced and regulated by the Gambling Commission.
The British gambling industry is one of the most heavily regulated in the world, leading to a safer space for players
When it comes to staying safe, knowledge and understanding are always your two biggest allies. Unfortunately, Bitcoin casinos can be confusing to outsiders as they frequently use terms and phrases that are not widely known.
Here is a brief list and description of all the words and phrases you should be aware of before using a Bitcoin casino.
Blockchain: This is the term used to describe the technology that is used to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions. In simple terms, Blockchain is a heavily encrypted digital ledger that which is viewed by many as more secure than any other existing financial transfer software.
Token: Crypto tokens are a kind of virtual currency token that resides on their own blockchains, representing an asset. Casinos that specialise in cryptocurrency can provide players with tokens, which can have the same impact as loyalty points or promotions. This is often how free spins or free bets are distributed. Crypto tokens are only accessible to the person who has the private key, an important factor due to the security measures online casinos must have in place. This private key helps to ensure the person accessing the tokens is old enough to be playing, and their account has been verified, so they aren’t using the online casino for money laundering or other illegal activities.
Peer-to-peer: You may logon to a Bitcoin casino and see no mention of cryptocurrency, instead transactions will be referred to as ‘peer-to-peer’ or ‘P2P’. This simply describes financial transactions that are not created by a central banking authority, so P2P is often used as shorthand for cryptocurrency transactions.
Fast Cash Out: One of the key benefits of using an online casino which accepts cryptocurrency as a form of payment is the speed at which you can collect your winnings. If you’re lucky enough to get a win, cryptocurrency can be transferred into your Fiat currency and into your account instantly, whereas traditional online casinos can take up to 3-5 days.
Money Laundering, Fraud & Source of Funds
Currently the British gambling industry is under intense pressure from the British government to increase its commitment to stopping money laundering and fraud. In recent years a number of high-profile gambling companies have been reprimanded, or even fined by the government for not taking these responsibilities seriously.
Whereas traditional online casinos can struggle to monitor fraud and money laundering effectively, Bitcoin casinos have no such problem. Every single transaction made with a cryptocurrency leaves a permanent trail.
Criminals who attempt to use cryptocurrency as part of their illegal activities are therefore more likely to face arrest and prosecution than those using traditional currencies. For this reason, Bitcoin casinos are at a far lower risk of being used for money laundering purposes than other online casinos.
All new online casinos must complete a source of funds check, it’s no different for casinos which specialise in cryptocurrency. This means they must display some form of proof that their money comes from a legitimate source, limiting criminal activity.
Not everything about Bitcoin casinos is better or safer than online casinos dealing in traditional currencies. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offer their users a level of anonymity that is simply not available to traditional currencies.
Unfortunately that means that they are susceptible to being duped by underage customers. However, this is balanced out by the difficulty of obtaining cryptocurrencies in the first place.
If an underage player is intent on gambling, they will most likely attempt to do it with a traditional currency rather than going to the hassle of buying a cryptocurrency to cover their backs.
Conclusion: Are Bitcoin Casinos Safe?
In the main, yes. Like all gambling companies, Bitcoin casinos are licenced and regulated by the Gambling Commission. This means that they have the same duty of care to their players as regular land-based casinos or traditional currency online providers.
The extra security and tracking of cryptocurrency transactions actually makes Bitcoin casinos safer when it comes to fraud and money laundering. However this is somewhat counterbalanced by the anonymity available to cryptocurrency users.
All in all though, Bitcoin casinos are just as safe if not safer than traditional currency online casinos.