Bitcoin has been around for 11 years at this point, and it is currently joined by thousands of other alternative cryptocurrencies. In this time, it has grown from an obscure digital currency first used to purchase a few takeaway pizzas, to one of the most promising and exciting currencies in the world.
It’s because of this buzz and this potential that Bitcoin casinos are growing in numbers. We’re not yet at the point where these casinos outnumber traditional currency casinos, but that’s surely just a matter of time.
What are the Roadblocks for Bitcoin Casinos?
One of the issues that Bitcoin casinos face is that they are not viewed the same by all regulators. The authorities of Curacao are currently one of the only regulators that fully embrace Bitcoin casinos, but they’re also known to be one of the most lenient.
The UK Gambling Commission acknowledges that there are a growing number of ways to spend Bitcoins and that online casinos are a valid outlet for many owners and investors. However, it also notes that there are increased risks where these coins are concerned, pointing to previous hacks and criminal activity, as well as the volatility of this coin and the fact that it’s not tied to a central authority.
As any experienced Bitcoin user will tell you, these criminal episodes were not the result of a weakness in the currency’s blockchain. They resulted from human error and greed, something that has also been linked to every other currency throughout the history of time!
As for the volatility, that’s no longer a massive issue, with Bitcoin becoming more and more stable with every passing year. Finally, the lack of a central authority is not a negative, and in the eyes of many users, it’s one of the main benefits of Bitcoins.
Still, the UK Gambling Commission is concerned about these aspects and this has led it to take a very strict position with regards to Bitcoin casinos and other cryptocurrency gambling sites.
Secondly, many Bitcoin casinos like to highlight the fact that Bitcoins are anonymous and many of them encourage players to join without undergoing any kind of verification checks. In some cases, players can join with just a phone number, and they won’t be asked to verify their identity until they make a number of substantial withdrawals.
This is very concerning to most of the world’s major regulators, specifically those in the UK, Sweden, Gibraltar, and Malta, as they all have strict protocols concerning Anti-money Laundering and Know Your Customer, better known as AML and KYC.
Simply put, they require all licensed casinos to fully understand all of their customers. They need to know their age, their address, their activity, and more, as that’s the only way to keep problem gambling, underage gambling, and money laundering to an absolute minimum.
How Will These Issues Resolve?
As things stand, many online gambling sites are happy to target their services to gamblers outside of the UK, Sweden, and other strict gambling regions. Many of these sites are new and are content with the more limited markets in which they target their services.
However, they are growing at a rate of knots and some of them are already realizing that the only realistic way to expand is to start working with more regulators. Not only will this allow them to offer their services in lucrative markets like the United Kingdom, but it will also keep government authorities off their back. Furthermore, when the US gambling market opens up, which seems like an inevitability at this point, they will have the experience and the security needed to venture into that market and start offering their services there.
The UK gambling market alone is worth well over €10 billion. Just imagine how much more potential casinos have if they offer their services here and in countries like the United States.
In technological terms, it’s like a website positioning itself to only operate on Bing or a game developer creating software that only works on Mac. Sure, there are a lot of people with these platforms, but they sit in the shadow of much bigger and more lucrative options and it would be insane not to focus on them.
In addition, many of the world’s biggest online casinos will start moving toward accepting Bitcoins on their platforms, as well as other cryptocurrencies. They always listen to their players and are always ready to do whatever those players want. As more of them demand Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies alongside options like Neteller, Skrill, and PayPal, casinos will rethink their strategies and start embracing these currencies.
It just takes one of the world’s top 10 biggest gambling sites to embrace Bitcoins and this will trigger a domino effect that sees many more of them follow suit. That will change the industry forever and will start the ball rolling, resulting in a situation in which there are more new cryptocurrency casinos than fiat currency casinos by 2025.