When it comes to traditional online gambling, it can be rather difficult to move money in and out of casinos. With online bitcoin or crypto casinos, however, the situation becomes very different.
Crypto Casinos Are Getting Bigger and Stronger
The world of crypto gambling is exploding as of late, one of the big reasons being that many of the regulations that apply to standard online casinos don’t apply to crypto. Thus, virtually anybody can take part, which opens several doors to things like addiction, money laundering, and other problems.
Alex Costello – vice president of government relations at the American Gaming Association – commented in an interview:
This segment has exploded in a very short amount of time, and as a decentralized system, it makes it even more difficult to figure out how to go after them. We are a highly regulated industry for good reason: anti-money-laundering concerns, responsible gaming concerns.
For those who have gambling addiction, there are very few mechanisms in play through online crypto casinos that bar them from playing. One such player – who remains anonymous at the time of writing – had this to say about his experience:
I’d done everything I could locally to stop myself from doing it, and suddenly there was this Hail Mary. I could self-exclude 20 times and it wouldn’t make any difference because you can just go back and make another account.
Crypto casinos accept traditional methods of payment. These include both credit and debit cards, though players can also pay fees with bitcoin and Ethereum if they choose. The crypto casinos range from digital versions of slots to roulette, but they all seem to have one thing in common: while they are marketed to U.S. gamblers, none of them seem to be based in America.
John Holden – assistant professor at Oklahoma State University and studier of gambling addiction – said:
Online gambling that isn’t connected to a greater crime network has been viewed as a lower priority for the government’s limited resources.
Many of these crypto casinos are not subject to specific rules and laws like other online gaming platforms. Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis firm, did a survey on the growing sector, and discovered that there are approximately 70 crypto-based online casinos in the U.S. In the last few months, these casinos garnered just shy of $3 billion through online gamblers, suggesting they’re well on their way to passing the $10 billion record hit in 2021.
There is no state that legally permits online crypto gambling, but that’s not stopping it from happening. Holden says:
To date, no state has allowed gambling directly with cryptocurrencies.
Not Enough Regulation in Place
Costello continued with:
Federal law enforcement is a bit hamstrung because these folks are obviously not regulated, not registered in the United States, and often not based in the United States, which often doesn’t allow for an easy prosecution.