Unless you frequent online gambling sites on a regular basis, you may not have noticed that digital currency such as Bitcoin have become very integral to the financial aspects of gambling online. Last year, in 2016, digital currency use for online gambling began to snowball. Many of the larger and more popular gambling sites such as Bodog ad 5dimes, are giving players a choice to use Bitcoin for their gambling accounts. Not so for affiliates who make commissions by sending traffic to sites related to gambling. For them, the online gambling industry is making Bitcoin use a requirement rather than an option.
Online casinos aren’t the only ones moving to Bitcoin. Many online sportsbooks have also integrated Bitcoin as an option for their payment processes. In the UK, where online sports betting is very common, the License Conditions and Codes of Practice which is administered by the UK Gambling Commission, now has a provision that states licensees must implement procedures for preventing Bitcoin from being used for money laundering via their platforms.
As mentioned above, more and more online casinos are requiring affiliate payments to be made with Bitcoin. Because of difficulties within the traditional banking system when making payments, online gambling operators such as Bovada, BetOnline, Betting Partners and Winning Poker Network have made Bitcoin the only payment option for their affiliate networks. Some of the key reasons for making the switch to Bitcoin were pointed out in a letter last year to the affiliate partners of Betting Partners. In it, affiliates were told that:
-Having payouts processed in under an hour
-No restrictions on the amount that can be sent
-No personal information required for payments
-A lowering of the minimum payout threshold to $10
Other gambling operators are still offering options to their affiliates for payments, with the intent that everyone will eventually switch over to a digital currency. Drake is a large online casino that offers their affiliates a choice. If their affiliates opt for the P2P digital currency system (similar to Bitcoin), they will receive a ten percent bonus.
Governments that still have anti-online gambling laws on the books have mostly resorted to blocking payment processing as a method of enforcement. The blockchain technology that is the backbone of digital currency eliminates payment processing through banks and credit card companies. Gaming regulators will become obsolete and governments will have no way to enforce anti-online gambling laws.