The rise of eSports and the rise of Bitcoin have finally met. You can now bet on eSports tournaments and games just like you would bet on traditional sports. But the fact that the technology exists does not necessarily mean that you’re able to participate.
If you live in the USA, can you legally bet with bitcoin on eSports? If you’re an esports company or a betting site, can you offer bitcoin betting on esports to fans in the USA?
Let’s find out.
Bitcoin Betting - the Pros and Cons
This shouldn’t be one of those articles that keeps you reading or keeps you guessing on the answers it promises. But the unfortunate fact is that the answer to the legality of bitcoin betting with crypto in the US is --- it depends.
This isn’t the answer you want to hear. But it’s the real answer. Why?
Bitcoin eSports betting offers anonymity.
Some bitcoin betting sites that offer betting on eSports let their users stay anonymous -- as long as the users deposit and withdraw in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, those users can remain anonymous.
That’s a big pro if you live someplace where sports and esports betting is banned. It means you can play anyway!
And that’s a big pro and big incentive to check which exchange is best for you to buy crypto so that you can deposit it at one of those anonymous betting sites.
This pro of anonymity is important to consider because of the way the US is handling esports and sports betting. A recent article from Sportsgeek states:
The US government hasn’t taken a definitive stance on the subject.
They repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018. This Supreme Court decision dissolved a federal ban on sports betting. States can now decide whether or not they want to legalize the activity.
Esports gambling seemingly falls under the umbrella of these decisions. However, it’s treated somewhat differently than sports wagering.
This means that if you want to find out exactly if eSports betting in your state is legal, you’ll need to do some digging.
If you find out that esports betting is legal then you’ll want to decide if you want to use a site that offers bitcoin betting -- and if that’s something you want to take advantage of.
Betting with bitcoin is not illegal. In fact, there are no rules for betting with bitcoin because it’s considered simply another form of money transfer -- like if you were choosing to transfer funds via Western Union, Skrill, or your bank or credit card. It’s simply another method.
The real question is if there’s a benefit for you to use bitcoin to place your bets. Is it?
Bitcoin Deposits vs. Traditional Banking Deposit Methods
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to hold a few pros over traditional banking deposit methods.
- Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals are faster
- Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals are cheaper
- Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals help the betting company pass savings onto you.
These benefits are thanks to the blockchain technology on which bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies are built upon. But that’s a topic for another article.
Risks with Bitcoin Deposits
Nevertheless, there are a few cons which you should be wary of.
- Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals are irreversible. This is a pro for people who are sufficiently educated and know to double check the addresses they send and receive to. But if you’re new, you may stumble and send to the wrong address -- which can mean your funds are lost forever. So always double check!
- Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not as regulated and insured as bank funds. If a hacker steals cryptocurrencies from an esports betting website, that website may not be able to refund customer’s money. Always make sure you are using a site that has secure methods of storing their cryptocurrencies.
Those are a few of the answers that should get you started. The cryptocurrency space is fascinating and full of new innovations. eSports and eSports betting is also new and creating more innovations. It’s worth it to keep updated with all the progress happening in the space... especially if laws in your state change.
Keep yourself educated and updated and you’ll have fun and win more too!
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