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EntertainmentIs Cryptocurrency Gambling Legal in the United Kingdom?

Is Cryptocurrency Gambling Legal in the United Kingdom?

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There are already a number of stories about people who have been making it big because of their early crypto investments. Of course, a lot of people who managed to secure crypto coins during the earliest stages of the movement didn’t necessarily stick to their guns and ended up selling their crypto ownership to others. But for those who stayed faithful, they have experienced massive booms in the value of their crypto. For example, a person could buy 10,000 Bitcoin back in 2010 for just 25 US dollars. Nowadays, a single Bitcoin is worth as much as 40,000 US dollars. That’s a significant jump in value.

Photo by Aleksi Räisä on Unsplash

There are a number of reasons as to why crypto is so popular these days. For some, it’s all about the investment opportunity that cryptocurrency providers. For others, there are more practical aspects to crypto. For instance, the ability to engage in safe and secure transactions while maintaining anonymity or discretion is very important. For example, one of the major applications of cryptocurrency these days is online gambling. Essentially, gamblers would hop onto any crypto casino and transact with the site with any viable coins. This grants the player ultimate discretion and security since the transactions are all powered by blockchain technology.

Is It Even Legal?

And while using crypto to transact with online gambling sites seems like a good idea, there is still a matter of legality to discuss. This is where things get very tricky because there are so many conflicting provisions among different authoritative bodies and it can be difficult for operators to keep up. Naturally, any kind of casino operator always wants to make sure that they are engaging in reputable and legal gambling operations. This is the best way for them to get the trust of the market. But is that possible with crypto platforms?

The reason this is so tricky is that every segment of the world will have its own specific laws surrounding online gambling and crypto use. For example, Macau is a very popular gambling destination, but the entirety of the country outlaws crypto. That’s why it’s always best to review specific legislation surrounding crypto and gambling for every region. Even within the United States itself, gambling laws can differ from state to state.

Crypto Gambling in the United Kingdom

Gambling has always been one of the most prominent pastimes in the United Kingdom. In fact, tourists all over the world sometimes flock to gambling-rich cities in the United Kingdom for their luxury casinos and energetic atmospheres. Since the UK has left the European Union, it has its own specific laws and regulations surrounding gambling and crypto use. The EU has always had a relatively liberal approach to crypto usage. In fact, the EU has been at the forefront of pioneering the crypto movement for a long time now. But when it comes to making use of crypto to gamble in the United Kingdom, there are specific restrictions to take note of.

Casinos that wish to provide crypto gambling services in the United Kingdom must ensure that they are able to prove the legitimacy of the sources of these funds before they can apply for a gambling license from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). Other than that, players are free to engage in crypto transactions with these online gambling sites as long as the operators have all the proper licenses and authorizations from the commission. Residents of the United Kingdom are free to use Bitcoin and other publicly listed crypto coins on these licensed gambling websites. 

Crypto Gambling in the Rest of the World

While the United Kingdom may have a relatively liberal stance on crypto gambling, the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily share that sentiment. For example, the Malta Gaming Authority doesn’t grant licenses to casinos that have cryptocurrency integration on their platforms. This is all despite the fact that Bitcoin is becoming increasingly popular and Malta is under large pressure to cater to its rising popularity. There are also countries like Hong Kong that accept Bitcoin as a viable form of payment for digital transactions. Hong Kong set its own crypto-specific regulation in 2020 which allowed for crypto gambling to take place in the country. 

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