The virtual currency known as Bitcoin sure seems ideally suited for use in online casinos. Because of the ability to anonymize transactions with Bitcoin (if done properly!) and measures like VPN networks that work to protect the identity and location of the individual, many online casinos and sportsbooks have begun accepting Bitcoin. The possible benefits are obvious. Chief among these is the potential for bettors in unlicensed territories to wager and win on their favorite casino games and sports.
With potential freedom also comes potential risk. As Bruce Arians, the head coach of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, likes to say, “No risk it, no biscuit.” Before you start betting with Bitcoin there are a few things you should know.
Is Bitcoin betting anonymous?
The answer is a tad bit complicated. It can be but just using Bitcoin won’t do the trick. You can protect your privacy with Bitcoin but a little bit of effort is required. An official Bitcoin website states that “all Bitcoin transactions are stored publicly and permanently on the network” referred to as the Blockchain. What this means is that anyone can see the balance and transactions of any Bitcoin address. The identity of the address holder, however, remains unknown until it is revealed in the course of a transactions. In other words, your Bitcoin wallet is anonymous until you provide personal details to the online casino. At that point your details can become linked with the Bitcoin address and related transactions.
It is possible to clean or “tumble” Bitcoin through a third-party service. Reddit has many posts on this topic but this is basically how it works: a third-party service is used to break the connection between the sending Bitcoin address and the receiving one. In the case of betting with Bitcoin you would first send your Bitcoin to the “mixer” or “tumbler” and then they would send the currency to the online casino. In this way your Bitcoin address is obfuscated and the Blockchain does not record a transaction from your address to the online casino or sportsbook.
The next hurdle to overcome would be registering an account at an Internet casino that allows Bitcoin. It is important here to find a casino that allows anonymous sign-ups but also is reputable and has good feedback. As you can imagine, some online casino operators realize that anonymous sign-ups and Bitcoin are fertile ground for scams. After all, if they take your Bitcoin either through rigged games, awful sportsbook odds, or just plain disappear with it in the middle of the night or day, who are you going to complain to? This is especially true if you are betting from an area that does not allow casino gambling.
We’ve done a little bit of research on a few online casinos that seem to fit the bill for betting with Bitcoin. Always remember, though, that betting involves risk no matter how you do it.
No risk it, no biscuit.
Bitcoin Casinos and Sportsbooks
Nitrogen Sports has a sleek interface and user-friendly environment that has made them one of the top Bitcoin sportsbooks. You can make live wagers on just about every sporting competition out there and even play a few casino games like craps and poker. Additionally, Nitrogen Sports has a nice long history in operating their sportsbook from Costa Rica, a haven for online betting providers.
The advantages of Nitrogen Sports are:
A few disadvantages of Nitrogen Sports are:
mBit Casino strives to provide the complete experience by offering sports betting, slots, and other online casino games in one convenient location. Based in Curacao, mBit Casino has a pretty good reputation in the industry even though payouts are sometimes a little bit slow compared to other casinos. While the signup process is anonymous you might want to ignore the popup box asking for your email address so mBit Casino can send you a bonus code. There are other ways to get a code and take advantage of mBit’s deposit bonuses.
The advantages of mBit Casino are:
The disadvantages of mBit Casino:
Cloudbet is a good Bitcoin casino option that places a premium on security. They have checks in place to prevent hacking attacks and use 2 factor authentication to protect the anonymity of new players. Located in the Netherlands, Cloudbet has a longer history that many Bitcoin casinos and fewer negative reviews. The 100% sign-up bonus (up to 5 Bitcoin) is also attractive. The attractiveness of Cloudbet’s platform may not be up to the level of other online casinos but who cares as long as the games are ran fairly and the odds good.
Advantages of Cloudbet:
The disadvantages of Cloudbet:
Bitcoin casinos and email
While many Bitcoin casinos do not ask for an email address at sign-up, some do. This is not a problem. There are many anonymous email services available. The issue is that using the same email address you used to create your Bitcoin wallet for casino registration can be a mistake and lead to possible connections between your wallet and the casino.
This is one reason we mentioned tumbling your Bitcoin before sending it off to an online casino. It would also be wise to create a separate, anonymous email address if you set up a Bitcoin wallet with Blockchain itself. Do not use your personal email address under any circumstances, especially if you are betting in a jurisdiction that prohibits online gambling. You have been warned.