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Non-Gamstop casinos have grown in popularity with British punters since the UK Gambling Commission brought in new regulations to police the gambling sector. With the UKGC implementing a lengthy self-exclusion scheme under the GamStop scheme, alongside other measures to protect problem gamblers, punters have been looking at alternatives.

Funding methods have also been restricted in the UK with credit cards banned and cryptocurrencies have emerged as an option for those looking to access casinos outside of the UK. There are advantages and disadvantages in using both options as we will discuss in this article.

How Do Cryptocurrencies Work at Online Casinos?

The use of cryptocurrencies is growing in many areas of commerce, and with strong gains for many coins, investors are looking to cash out some of their gains. The majority of online merchants don’t accept cryptos as payments yet, so online gaming is one outlet for digital currency investors.

One benefit of using cryptocurrency is anonymity in all transactions, although this option is nullified by KYC requirements at some casinos and gamblers are really just seeking an outlet to spend their coins. The holders of these digital coins should really consider whether running digital money through KYC programs is the best use of the technology.

Non-UK Casinos are offering their support for cryptocurrency deposits and will have designated Bitcoin addresses which users can send their coins to, much like a bank transfer. Users must first acquire the coins through a digital currency exchange such as Coinbase or Binance, however PayPal is now offering UK customers the opportunity to buy cryptos. Casinos have been expanding their offerings from the original BTC and now offer a range of coins such as ETH, LTC, and DOGE. Coin holders are also looking to avoid costly fiat exchange fees when withdrawing coins to betting sites.

How Are Cryptocurrencies Restricted at UK Casinos?

The UKGC implemented a rule in 2016 allowing the use of Bitcoin at online casinos. The UKGC also banned credit card deposits in the country and that was another negative development for UK gamblers. The move was made to protect problem gamblers, but we can see where they have closed one door and opened another which is even less regulated.

Many users like to separate gambling transactions from bank accounts in order to avoid stigma when applying for a mortgage or other products. Banning credit deposits is certainly a good thing to protect problem gamblers, but it punishes those who are comfortable with their gaming habits. Those gamblers have moved to use credit cards at overseas casinos but some will use BTC as a payment option.

UK casinos using Bitcoin and other cryptos would require strict KYC checks and the anonymity of transactions is therefore lost. At present, the UK financial regulators are not entirely convinced about how they will treat blockchain currencies, but the European Central Bank have recently called for global regulation of the coins. The US is also taking a more active stance on digital coins with the addition of an ETF Bitcoin product now trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The larger UK gaming providers have shied away from cryptocurrencies, but they are now becoming more mainstream. Until regulation is concluded, casinos not on GamStop will remain popular because they are offering another deposit option and more gaming freedom.

How Are Non-GamStop Casinos Handling Cryptocurrencies?

Non-GamStop casinos like those available on this platform are usually based in Europe, or more recently in Latin America. The rise of internet and computing technology has brought online gaming to our living rooms and mobile devices, but it also meant that casinos do not need physical locations and companies are setting up in countries that can offer a more suitable climate and taxation environment. European firms usually require thorough identity checks, but maybe less limitations on crypto withdrawals. Latin American firms are usually providing a looser regulatory environment and users can setup an account without any ID or proof of address in some cases.

Users should keep these differences in mind and apply due diligence to any sites that they are signing up to. There are many legitimate companies out there, but also some dubious ones as in any online sector.

Should Cryptocurrency Casino Transactions Be Tracked?

The irony of using cryptocurrencies with KYC is that it defeats the initial purpose of having decentralized money that offers a level of privacy. It is fair that all casinos should be held to the same standard as other financial-related firms in order to clamp down on tax avoidance and black-market activities such as money laundering, but having the transactions tracked would likely not be the best tribute to the architects of digital blockchain money.

The Bank of England is actually joining other global central banks in creating their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The BoE has actually said that ministers should decide on whether that money should be programmable. This means that the government could ban the use of cryptocurrency at non-GamStop, or even UK casinos, with the BoE citing social concerns.

At present, a CBDC is likely two years away and many investors have seen gains from cryptocurrencies and are looking for avenues to cash out those profits. Withdrawing cryptocurrencies to a standard fiat bank account can come with costly exchange fees, while a cheaper crypto deposit can see money land in your betting account within half an hour, or minutes in some cases.

Conclusion

The use of Non-UK casinos have become more popular as gamblers balk at the increasingly strict environment at casino sites. It is right that problem gambling should be tackled, however, applying a one size fits all approach doesn’t benefit all and those who are comfortable with their gambling habits are also being punished with funding restrictions and an increased level of in-game regulations such as spin timers and bet size limits.

The use of cryptocurrencies in the UK is still small outside of the digital money exchanges because financial regulators are still undecided about how to treat digital money. This means that UK casinos tend to stay away and they are also unprepared for the new technology required. The use of cryptocurrencies shouldn’t be seen as another way to get around the GamStop rules, but these new forms of digital money look like they are here to stay, and casinos are simply responding to consumer demand.