Is Bitcoin Sports Betting Legal?
In recent years, bitcoin sports betting has become extremely popular all over the world, especially for players residing in the United States. Due to Federal regulations such as the UIGEA (which made it illegal for banks to process any credit card transactions related to gambling), US players have been experiencing problems getting money both on and off the sportsbooks for nearly a decade now. But with the advent of Bitcoin and all its inherent features, most if not all of the problems US players have experienced over the years are now a thing of the past. Transfering funds to and from legally licensed sportsbooks is a piece of cake.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies stand out among the rest for their instant processing times that are free from fees and non-national lineage that stops no one in the world from sending and receiving bitcoin. Americans no longer need to deal with credit card declines and can safely use Bitcoin to streamline every part of the banking process. And because Bitcoin is such a hot commodity right now, most sites offer bigger bonuses above and beyond their standard offers just for using the cryptocurrency.
But is Bitcoin sports betting legal in the US? Our guide offers a complete breakdown on the laws surrounding bitcoin gambling and what is or isn't considered legal for American players.
Only Reputable Bitcoin Sports Betting Sites
All Sportsbooks Legally Licensed
The sportsbooks we've included in this guide come out of a lengthy vetting and approval process. Our industry researchers have over 20 combined years of experience vetting and inspecting websites like these for the requirements of the industry and legal systems of the customers they court. Each of these websites have the proper legal founding and regulation to operate legally in the international market. Their game selection is on par with the industry leaders and offer mobile gambling along with live betting as some of their featured options.
Top Rated Sportsbooks That Accept Bitcoin
Common Questions Related To Bitcoin And Sports Betting In The US
What Is The Legal Status Of Using Bitcoin To Bet On Sports In The US?
The US Federal government took a deliberate approach when writing the laws that would impact online sports gambling in the United States. The focus was on the operators, they didn’t wish to criminalize the bettors involved and left it open for foreign companies operating within the legal boundaries of their regulation to court customers from the US. It’s legal for most American’s to place sports bets online with sportsbooks that are located outside of US federal jurisdiction with the exception of the residents of Washington state. Below, we break down the laws for a more detailed look.
Does Bitcoin Sports Betting Violate PASPA?
No it does not. Using Bitcoin has no legal difference from using any other currency in online sports books. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act was a federal mandate that was signed into law in 1992 as a result of heavy lobbying on behalf of the professional sports leagues of America. Until May 14, 2018 the law made it illegal to place sports bets at physical locations in all states except for sportsbooks located in Delaware, Oregon, Montana, and Nevada. However, on this historic date in May, the United States Supreme Court determined PASPA to be unconstitutional, ruling in favor of New Jersey after a long, drawn out court case. The federal ban on sports betting that impacted 46 states in the US is no longer in force. Even when it was in force, PASPA had no bearing over the internet and in no way, impacted online sports gambling, or Bitcoin.
Does Bitcoin Sports Betting Violate The Federal Wire Act?
The Federal Wire Act was signed in 1961 as a tactical approach to defeating the country’s growing organized crime problem. Organized crime rings were using telegraphs and other wired communications to set up sports gambling operations that spanned the entire country. The federal government outlawed taking bets over wired communications with The Wire Act in a ploy against organized crime, not sports gambling. This is why they made sure to word the federal law in such a way that would not criminalize the bettor. This is what allows us to use legally regulated offshore sports gambling sites legally to this day. In 2011, the Department of Justice decided that the wire act would not only apply over wire communications but also to the internet as well, and specially to sports betting only. This law effectively makes owning an online sports gambling business illegal within the United States and does not make it illegal to enjoy them as bettors if they are located overseas.
Does Bitcoin Sports Betting Violate the UIGEA?
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 adds a layer legal scrutiny to something that was already illegal. The act was written to control the use of particular payment methods and apparatuses that are a result of illegal online gambling. The law acts as a layer of federal oversight over banks and payment options and as a result of this federal mandate, all outside online gambling operators must functions within legal parameters for authenticity on their financial servers. The UIGEA does not make it illegal to place bets over the internet and only works to add even more punishment to those who operate outside of their legal regulation.
Which States Allow For Online Sports Betting?
There is currently only one state in the United States that has specifically made the act of placing sports wagers on the internet illegal and that is the state of Washington.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using Bitcoin in Sportsbooks
- Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are decentralized. You have complete control over your funds with no national entities ruling over them to apply arbitrary fees or regulations. Your bitcoin wallets can’t be frozen like a fiat currency bank account.
- The legal bitcoin gambling sites we recommend typically don't charge any transaction fees for a payout.
- Bitcoin is digitally based and completely anonymous. You can use it at any websites without anyone ever being to trace it back to you and because its digital, you will have no processing times.
- Bitcoin’s price has become known for its market volatility. Despite the fact that it has consistently increased since its creation, bitcoin’s price still rises and falls from day to day. Traditional fiat currencies are much more stable. Gambler who use Bitcoin should make sure to follow the market value to maximize their winnings.
- There is a potential for digital theft via hacking. Bitcoins are untraceable and function using private keys that are sent to and from the gambling operators. If those private keys are somehow acquired by hackers, the bitcoin you lose will be untraceable and you will likely lose it forever.
How To Place Sports Bets Using Bitcoin
How To Buy Bitcoin
Your first step in buying bitcoin is deciding which exchange you would like to use. Among the top bitcoin exchanges are CoinBase and Gemini. There are many exchanges but these are a couple of the highest rated ones on the internet. At these exchanges, after you have registered, you will be shown a price chart of Bitcoin and multiple graphs so you can follow the price changes as they change in real time. From here you will be able to use any currency you wish to purchase any amount of bitcoin you desire. Some exchanges require a few days after registering to verify your identity, so sign up early if you want to make sure to buy when the price is right.
How To Get Bitcoin Wallet
Once you have registered at the exchange of your choosing and purchased bitcoin you will want to store it someone off the exchange. Storing small amounts of bitcoin on the exchange isn’t necessarily a bad idea but exchanges are big targets for hackers and with large amounts of bitcoin you will want to make sure and store it somewhere else that’s a bit more secure. There are various wallets to choose from that are both online and offline. Online wallets are typically less secure but still can be hacked if the amount in it is worthy of the time for the hacker. All they need are your private keys and your bitcoin becomes their bitcoin. There are also various wallets that are offline that can’t be attacked by online hackers and these are the safest options if you are storing large amounts of bitcoin.
How To Transfer Funds To Your Sportsbook Account
Once you have purchased your bitcoin and decided which wallet you want to use to store it, that wallet will provide for you a wallet address. This is the address that you will use to send and receive bitcoin payments. You can use this wallet address at properly regulated online sports gambling websites and send your bitcoin from your wallet directly to the website using their deposit options menu.
How To Place Your Bet
The fun part. Now that you have transferred your bitcoin from your wallet to the online gambling website that you have chosen, you can make bets the same way you would with any other currency that has been deposited into their systems. Find your bet, set your amounts and place your bets.
How To Withdraw Your Winnings
Simply request a withdrawal and provide your bitcoin address and the funds should make it to your wallet instantly.
What You Should Know About Betting On Sports With Bitcoin
Are there Bitcoin Sportsbook Bonuses?
The most common bonus in the online sports gambling industry is one that will work for any currency you choose to use. The “Welcome Bonus” will match a percentage of your deposit and add that percentage into your account to place bets with. There are various other bonuses that work the same way but with much more lucrative percentages that are specifically made for bitcoin as well.
What Kinds Of Sports Can I Bet On?
All the major sports in the USA, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey, Etc.. Sportsbooks also house bets for prize fights, motor sports, E-sports, and futures and prop bets as well.
Is It Safe To Bet On Sports Using Bitcoin?
It is, using bitcoin at legally regulated offshore sportsbooks is one of the safest options available to you. The only risk is the bitcoin itself. You never have to enter your personal bank account information and foreign operators never know your card number when dealing with bitcoin.
Other Real Money Gambling Options Available For Bitcoin Gamblers
Legal Bitcoin Casinos - All of the bitcoin casinos we review are legally licensed for USA players.
Legal Bitcoin Poker Sites - Play online poker legally at any of these reputable online poker rooms that accept bitcoin.