Let’s clear one thing up straight away; Bitcoin is only really going to be a plausible solution for US users due to the countries restrictions in how they can bank online. Whilst poker is legal in some states, its taking time for a lot of other states to first apply for legalisation for online gambling and then to get accepted.
In one sense, Bitcoin could be a possible solution. What’s caused the controversy in the US market is that the banks had banned people from depositing or withdrawing from online poker rooms or casinos. This made it extremely difficult for people to move their funds around online, causing many gambling portals to close. Whilst there is a lot more to the ins and outs of how this has come about, we will save that for another article. If you want to find out more a simple Google of the UIGEA or Black Friday will likely see you right.
Bitcoin would allow people to basically bank with the poker rooms anonymously. It works by purchasing the virtual currency and then these Bitcoins are stored in your online wallet. You can then use these Bitcoins as currency, just like real money, for any store that will accept them. It means that you don’t need to actually give the person or company you are sending money to any details at all, as you simply send them almost like an email with a reference number. There is no way for this to be tracked to a bank account, but will be tracked to your betting account.
BENEFITS OF BITCOIN FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
- United States real-money poker and casino gamers can legally transfer money to online and mobile gambling sites without violating any laws.
- Bitcoin is completely anonymous so if you are concerned about your privacy it is a great way to make purchases.
- Instantaneous transactions also make Bitcoin a very attractive payment processor. Bank wires and transfers can often take up to a week to complete, while your Bitcoin cash outs will be available instantaneously in your account.
- Low transaction costs mean you have more money to play with. PayPal, Visa and Mastercard transaction fees can often be exorbitant. It is not unusual to have to pay frees of anything from 3% to 5% just to process your withdrawal or deposit.
What you can’t ignore is that these types of Bitcoin casinos, sportsbooks and mobile poker rooms are already happening today and working successfully! Whether this can be incorporated into a ‘real money’ poker room remains to be seen, but it does seem like a legitimate way around the banking problems that the US are facing.
A tough reality to grasp regarding Bitcoin is that you aren’t actually buying anything apart from numbers on the screen. They may be worth something today, but you just need to go and look at their value per dollar over the last 6 months to see how volatile of a currency this could be.
Personally, I think the last thing that the US market needs is more quick fixes and to be honest, the Bitcoin option looks like just that. The longevity of the currency would have to be called into question for me and the fact that it could be pulled at any time would potentially leave us with another Black Friday all over again!