Online Casinos and Bitcoin – A Brief History and Understanding
I’ve been in the online gambling industry for over 17 years and around bitcoin since the early days of it coming around. Online Casinos, being early adopters as well, have been working hand in hand with crypto since 2015.
Before I get too much into the history and details behind bitcoin and online gambling, let’s quickly list 4 of the Best Bitcoin Online Casinos as of today (updated for 2022).
If you really want to learn more about any of the Online Casinos we mention here, scroll toward the bottom of this page and get the gist of each one. To really delve into it, go and take a look at the guys over at GoodCasinos.org, one of the leading authorities on Casino reviews and see what they think about the following sites!
The Four Best Bitcoin Gambling Sites
The Casino over at Bovada is definitely among the best you’re going to find out in the world of Online Gambling. We can sing their praises all day long, but that’s really a matter for another post altogether!
Bovada Casino accepts the following types of crypto:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Bitcoin SV
Slots.lv accepts the same cryptos as Bovada, the first casino we mentioned.
They’re actually owned by the same company so you’re going to find many similarities, but they also have their differences.
The biggest difference by far is the fact that Bovada offers just about anything you could want to gamble on as far as a casino, a sportsbook, a poker room, etc, whereas Slots.lv is strictly a casino.
BetOnline is another Casino that offers up other fares like a sportsbook, a racebook, and so forth. The Sportsbook is actually their bread ‘n’ butter if you will, but the casino is nothing to sneeze at.
As of right now, they accept 15 different types of crypto! You’ll find the options for the favorites such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but some of the lesser-known coins as well. BetOnline is proud of the fact that they will accept players from any US state.
Unfortunately, many gambling sites exist for US players that have rules on who can or cannot gamble based on local laws. BetOnline is not one of them! If you live in the US, you are more than welcome there!
While serving up most of the traditional Casino offerings, Ignition Poker is where you’ll find one of the best Poker rooms, hence the name! If you’d like to check them out, they also accept:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Bitcoin SV
And of course, there are other great Online Casinos out there making it so that no matter what type of crypto you’re choosing to use, you can probably find a casino that offers it as their deposit and withdrawal options!
If you have one of those lesser-known coins, or you’re just not feeling any of the Casinos that we’ve mentioned so far, once again just go and check out GoodCasinos.org and they’ll get you all hooked up with someone that you feel good about!
The good news is, it’s almost a guarantee that if you’re running around with the original coin, Bitcoin, just about everyone is going to accept it.
No matter where you choose to do your gaming, just make sure that you choose a site that has been tested to be one of the few proven and legitimate ones! Stick with one (or more) that has a long history of paying their players when they win, offers fair games, and carries an all-around excellent reputation.
Why Online Casinos Need Crypto
- Moving Money is Expensive
It’s actually very expensive for an Online Casino to process your deposits and withdrawals using credit cards and checks. It costs a lot of money to move all the money from you to the casino and vice versa.
One of the biggest financial expenses for the casino themselves is just the money processing. That’s where are of your fees are going. Someone is going to be paying for this processing and you can be sure that it’s not going to be the casino!
Most of us don’t think about it when making a deposit at a casino, online or otherwise. We just whip out the Visa or MasterCard and put up a couple of hundred bucks to start gambling.
From the casino’s side, they have a lot to go through. Check out this article and you get an idea of the hoops a casino is going to have to jump through just to make money, and you can be sure that it’s going to be even harder if they happen to be an offshore merchant, which they more than likely will be!
- Credit Cards Companies Are Going to Try to Block Deposits to Online Casinos
If you are trying to make a deposit (purchase) and your Visa or MasterCard recognizes the vendor as an Online Casino, they’re probably going to block the transaction.
Some readers may remember making a deposit at the now-defunct poker site, Full Tilt Poker, and having the charge show up as a bakery on your monthly statement.
- The Online Casinos Utilize Credit Card Processing Companies to Mix in Their Charges With Other Non-Gambling Charges
This is just the way it is. Big banks as a whole hate gambling. Legal or not, the big bank doesn’t want their players to max out their credit to gamble with the thought of, “Oh, I’ll just pay it back when I win“. What happens if that same player loses?
- Casinos Have the Very Real Risk of Fraud Credit Charges and Chargebacks
Credit Card fraud is a very real thing, and that’s for legitimate cases of fraud, not even mentioning the same players from above that may take a loss and “try to get it back”.
- Online Casinos Risk an Unfriendly Government Seizing Money, deeming them “Illegal“
It happens. That’s the world we live in and always have.
This is pretty much the short of it:
Legislators know that they cannot stop people from gambling. The players love to gamble and they’re always going to.
So, instead, these same lawmakers will go after payment processors to try and make it just as difficult and as expensive as possible for Online Casinos to operate.
They try to cut the gambling off right at the money source because these elected officials want you to only gamble where they want to allow you, after all.
On the other side of this coin though is the fact that these Online Casinos want you to gamble with them and they’re going to make it as easy as possible for you to do so!
The sheer number of companies and banks that they have to work with to move checks through enough channels to get your money back to you would probably blow your mind! You can learn more about all of the ups and down and the history of Online Gambling for real money down below. For now, we’ll leave it at this: It’s been a real freakin’ roller coaster!
Deposit with Credit Cards or Crypto?
In 2018, roughly around 80% of Online Gamblers used credit cards for their first deposit. Of those players, only about 55% of the attempts were successful. This tells us that just a bit of over half of those that wanted to deposit with a credit card simply couldn’t!
The world of Online Gambling just gets bigger every day and with people becoming of legal age and everyone needs a viable solution.
We discussed the casinos and the fact that they want as few obstacles in front of you as possible when trying to give them your money to gamble with. They want this process to be as easy and simple as possible, not to mention that the good, legitimate casinos want to make sure that you’re getting paid as quickly as possible when you win and cash out!
Just a quick side note here while we’re talking about this:
If you absolutely want to use a credit card to make a deposit and you’re lucky enough to get one to go through, no casino is going to offer your winnings back to you on that credit card. You’ll have to use crypto or wait X amount of time for a check to be mailed to you. Sitting around waiting on your moolah sure doesn’t sound fun at all!
Online Casinos spend a ton of money making sure that you can make your deposits easily and cash out quickly. It’s a major expense these casinos have to process all of these credit cards for deposits and the creation / delivering checks for those that are cashing out.
To make matters even worse than anything we have talked about yet, Visa, MasterCard, and AmericanExpress are actively trying to shut down any deposits to Online Casinos!
This is a battle that has been going on since 2006 and is still going on today!
After hearing about all of that nonsense you may be thinking to yourself, “It would be nice if there were a faster, easier, safer way to secure deposits and withdrawals“.
Bitcoin Begins Solving the Payment Problems for Online Gambling
In 2016, Online Casinos were at a breaking point. Not only was it extremely difficult to process credit cards, but incredibly expensive as well. At this time, only about 65% of credit cards could be used for depositing thanks to rules and regulations. Imagine opening up your own shop and having to turn away 35% of your customers who had open wallets and trying to give you their money but just couldn’t. It was not a good situation at all.
Come 2018, these credit card acceptance rates had dropped down to about the 55% range with only the biggest casinos able to reach those numbers.
From the casino side, nothing is worse than a player that wants to make a deposit and play but can’t because their credit card is declined even though they’ve got plenty of money.
From the player’s side, nothing is more frustrating than finding a game that you want to play, a bonus you want to accept, a match you want to bet on, whatever, just to find that your money fails even though they know that there’s plenty of it!
Sites and players alike needed a solution to this problem.
And then there was Bitcoin.
If you want to get yourself safely set up to buy Bitcoin to use for gambling but don’t really know where to start, there’s a great article for newbies right here that will guide you all of the way.
According to an insider, here’s a quick overview of how it all went down:
In the summer of 2016, Online Casinos started to adopt Bitcoin in record numbers. Almost all of the long-term, legitimate gambling sites started to fully integrate Bitcoin payments and cashouts streamlined.
When the long-term, legitimate sites get mentioned, we’re talking about the big guys like Bovada, BookMaker, BetOnline, Intertops, BetAnySports, and others. The best of the best, at the time anyway.
Before that, there were some Bitcoin casinos but these were mostly casinos that opened specifically just to accept Bitcoin. These were casinos that had no reputation, no player base to speak of, no experience, no history to fall back on.
Far too many of these sites ended up being scams, just to grab coins from unsuspecting players. Needless to say, over time most of these finally failed for good and have gone under.
When the big, genuine guys came around to accepting Bitcoin, the game changed for everyone involved because when they came around, they went full force.
In April of 2016, affiliate partners of BookMaker were advised that starting in the next month, the only way to get paid would be through Bitcoin. Wire payments? Cut off. Check payments? Nope, not anymore. You want to get paid? It’s Bitcoin. Enjoy.
Not long afterward, Bovada followed suit with a similar announcement, just with a slightly longer window to get ready.
Soon it was just normal for gambling affiliates to be paid in Bitcoin. This is where the Bitcoin boom and subsequent fall began.
Why Did Casinos Force Affiliates and Partners to Bitcoin?
So now all of the major casinos have thousands of affiliates and all of them are only paid in Bitcoin. Why?
Simple. It’s because they needed the processing capacity to service the players and their cashouts. They only had so much money that they could send out every month due to the expense and difficulty to ensure that everyone was paid correctly.
They needed to open up all of the processing power for players instead of the affiliates. They also knew that it needed to be easy for the players to get their money, and luckily, the affiliates understood for the most part. Some were angry and stopped working with them and now don’t get paid at all, so who’s the real loser in that situation?
Players were still able to get a check payout, and they still are at most gambling sites, but the processing problems still exist. This is why there’s probably going to be a significant expense on every dollar that is paid out utilizing banks and processing companies which comes out to be a hefty fee for those that really want a check mailed out to them. At some sites you can also be charged more fees if you request a cashout too often.
With the new way, even in the most challenging countries like the USA players and affiliates alike could make payments or get paid fast and easy!
Not long after, just about any site started to accept Bitcoin for deposits as well, and again just about any site will be more than happy to educate anyone on how to use crypto safely.
Online Casinos Encourage Bitcoin Adoption With the Masses
Then the second plan of attack came around. Offer the players more incentives to use crypto!
As an example, at the Bovada Sportsbook, the “Welcome Offer” for new players with a credit card is $250. However, if those same players use any of the accepted cryptos instead, that bonus gets bumped up to $750. That’s a pretty solid bonus there.
There are also crypto-only bonuses if you are an existing player, it’s not just for new people.
The next thing they did was start to offer lightning-fast payouts, even for the big, jackpot-sized wins.
If you get lucky and hit a jackpot, as I did at a brick-and-mortar casino in 2016, humble brag, it would be nice to get paid all at once.
There are limits on check amounts that are imposed by the processing companies – usually $3 or $4 thousand. This means that it could take months to get all of your cash when you hit a big win.
With Bitcoin, you can get it all at once. While some players may like a structured payout, most of them are going to want all of that money at once.
Can Crypto Revolutionize Online Gambling More Than Moving Money?
Oh yeah, absolutely!
More than likely, Smart Contract Gaming will be the future of Online Gambling. There are already some start-up sites that are using Ethereum and contracts to offer decentralized and provably fair games. These are mostly “dice” style sites such as the (now defunct) SafeDice.
You don’t have to “just trust” a casino anymore to tell you the truth about the odds in their games, now you can look for yourself and prove it!
Changes are coming. If you are gambling even today with Bitcoin or another crypto, you’re already ahead of the curve. Most people still don’t want to talk about crypto or hear you talk about it, but that wave is flowing, the tide is still growing and there’s still a ton of opportunity.
If you are wanting to place some bets online, Bitcoin is as easy as it gets. Once you get through the gateway and get yourself some crypto, depositing and withdrawing are easy, fast, and reliable.
The only hard part you’re going to have left is making sure that you’re at an honest, legitimate gambling site with a strong history and reputation.
Those Online Gambling sites that we had mentioned earlier? We got that shortlist from the folks over at GoodCasinos.org, a site that we have worked with in the past. You can always head over there to check out all of the sites that they work with.
For now, let’s point out some of the “crypto-specific” bonuses that you could grab from each one of them.
Bitcoin Gambling Sites – Some Promotions!
- $750 Sportsbook Bonus
- $3750 Casino Bonus
- Up to $275 Referral Bonus
This was mentioned earlier on this page, but by using crypto you can turn the Sportsbook Bonus from $250 into $750. That’s still a heck of a bargain!
Those that like casinos more than sportsbooks will be happy to know that you could claim up to a $3750 bonus for use in the casino, (you’ll almost always get a bigger bonus at a casino than a sportsbook, but that’s a matter for another article).
If you like Bovada, your friends probably will as well! Just tell them about Bovada and you’ll not only get up to a $200 Match on their first deposit but if you use crypto Bovada will give you an extra $75!
As we have said, Slots.lv is strictly a casino, so if you’re into Slot Machines and the like, this should definitely be one of your regular stops! As far as crypto bonuses go, Slots.lv is currently showing off these offers.
- Up to $7500 in Welcome Bonus Deposits
- Up to $225 Referral Bonus
Yes. That does say $7500. Just for joining. That’s incredible!
Like Bovada’s referral bonus. You get a little more just for using crypto.
- Up to a $1000 Welcome Bonus for the Sportsbook
- Up to a $3000 Welcome Bonus for the Casino
- 35% Crypto Reload Bonus
This is for the new players to BetOnline.
As we have said, you’ll almost always get more at a casino than at a sportsbook!
For those existing players that need a little boost to their accounts.
An extra 10% Crypto Boost
This is a promotion that’s almost always floating around BetOnline and seems to randomly change from 5% to 10% and back again. Get on it now while the gettin’s good and before it drops back down!
And lastly, for the Poker Sharks out there amongst you, Ignition Poker!
- Up to a $3000 Welcome Bonus
- Monthly $10,000 Crypto Giveaway
This gets split up between the Poker Room and the Casino with up to $1500 at each one.
For all of the crypto users, Ignition Poker gives away $10,000 in crypto every month with the 1st place receiving $5000, 2nd place $3000, and 3rd place $2000. This is a random drawing for just those that are using crypto to fund their accounts!
If you have made it down this far, you’ve obviously got an interest in crypto whether it’s a new interest or an older one that you’re just feeding.
There are actually many, many Online Casinos that have proven themselves time and again to be solid and legitimate casinos. To go off and see the best of the best, I highly recommend GoodCasinos.org to see what they’ve got to say about these as well as many others.
Got that interest but don’t really know where to start? I’ve got you!
Just read through this guide and by the time you’re done you’ll be all ready to head off on your own and hopefully win some serious cash!