Not too long ago, Cash, Credit and (Gaming) Chips seemed like the only three tools Sports or other Gamblers could use to make their wagers at European, Las Vegas, Offshore and Online sportsbooks, but, like the times, some operators have changed and are now accepting Digital Cryptocurrencies like the popular Bitcoin and Litecoin as a form of currency with most accepting it also primarily dealing in the traditional Cash with a handful exclusively dealing in Bitcoin in a market and concept—Sports Betting with Cryptocurrencies—which is still relatively a very new thing and still evolving.
Introduction: You Can’t Always Bet What You Want, But If You Try Sometimes…
Living in Las Vegas for 25 years now, I’ve heard firsthand stories of one man actually making a bet involving his Car and another man actually making a bet involving his House. So the thought of betting with anything other than Cash, Credit or Gaming Chips had already crossed my mind, although betting something Invisible like Bitcoin—a so-called “cryptocurrency” based in the Digital World with the first specification and proof of the actual concept published in 2009 by Satoshi Nakatomo—seems really strange, although when you think about it, when you’re betting US Dollars (Cash) you’re just wagering little Green Pieces of Paper with the faces of Dead US Presidents on them based on a some theoretical old Gold Standard (with maybe no Gold to back it) with those little Patent Green Pieces of Paper being printed out 24/7 by people (The Federal Reserve) who aren’t actually really part of the US Government.
It’s really weird. Really weird. But then again everything seems Weird and getting Weirder in these Strange Days in which we live, so in retrospect, maybe Sports Gambling with Cryptocurrency is Tamer, more Modern and Safer than wagering a Car or a House would be. It’s funny how (illegal) Poker games or personal sporting bets could quickly devolve back in the Old Days. The best advice it seems is to always bet with the Sportsbooks you trust and like and ditch ones who ultimately fail you. Sort of like weeding out bad Girlfriends and Boyfriends.
One seemingly decent advantage of utilizing Cryptocurrency is the Anonymity it provides the prospective user (and Sports Gambler). More and more Sportsbooks—primarily Online and Offshore—are offering betting with popular digital monetary vehicles like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Ether, Dash (like DirectBet, Current C+ Overall SBR Grade) and some of the other newer Cryptocurrencies.
We have an ever-evolving list here at Sportsbook Review of Sportsbooks Who Accept Bitcoin which includes pertinent information on Minimum Deposits, Sign-Up Bonuses, Maximum Payout Amounts and whether or not these individual Sportsbooks hold the customer’s balance in Bitcoin or in that country’s Native Currency. And it’s extremely important for customers of these usually Online and Offshore Sportsbooks who have good and/or bad experiences with them utilizing Cryptocurrency to leave their thoughts in the Forum here at SBR in order for us to properly try to keep up with this concept and who may be fair and who may not be in this still infinite stage of its usage.
We all know it’s hard enough to try to win in Sports Betting constantly fighting the 11/10 vigorish as well as the short odds of ever coming out ahead in The Long Run (3%), but finding a reliable place where you don’t have to worry about the Sportsbooks themselves, their Customer Service and Payout process and reputation(s) is a completely different thing and the Public’s Accountability of each Sportsbook—be it Regulated or Unregulated—must be maintained and like most things, is ever-evolving. We all vote with our Dollars, Pounds, Euros, Loonies, Pesos or whatever the currency so we can voice our pleasure (or displeasure) with Bitcoin (and other Cryptocurrency) use at specific Sportsbooks both with these betting dollars and by voicing our opinions and experiences in reputable Sports Gambling website Forums.
Some of the Online Sportsbooks whom SBR has given an A+ grade to in our current Bitcoin Sportsbook Review Guide include Bookmaker, BETDSI, BetOnline, and Heritage Sports with SportsBetting.ag, JustBet, Galaxy Sports, Intertops and Bovada all earning stellar A grades. WagerWeb (B+), GTBets (B) and Nitrogen Sports (B) are all getting graded pretty well in terms of Bitcoin experience while AnoniBet, Cloudbet, Jetwin, BitCasino, Bitcoin Rush and HRWager all presently have C+ grades.
So, do your homework, see what good and bad things past and current customers have to say about Bitcoin sports betting experience at a specific Sportsbook and then make your own judgements based on everything you find out. Online sportsbook BetPhoenix—which currently has an overall C rating from SBR—actually advertised Bitcoin betting for Super Bowl 50, so the popularity is slowly continuing to evolve in the industry.
The Most Popular Current Cryptocurrencies
A Cryptocurrency is a Modern Digital Currency which utilizes Encryption techniques to keep a tabs on the generation of the number of units of that specific Cryptocurrency as well as verifying transfer of these digital funds. And like Stock Prices, the daily, hourly and minute prices of these currencies fluctuate.
The most popular (and basically the first real successful) Cryptocurrency is called Bitcoin (Stock Symbol: BTC, $442.50 USD, +1.47%, April 20, 2016), and for supporters, users and fans of Bitcoin—whose transactions are verified by nodes and and the recorded in a public Distributed Ledger called “Block Chain”—it has been a really, really good 365 days on the Calendar for Bitcoin with the value of the Cryptocurrency going from $224.31 a year ago today (April 20, 2015) to its’ closing price of $442.50 (April 20, 2016) in the CoinDesk Trading Exchange today. So, BTC has almost doubled its value in a year (+$218.19 USD) and is in an ideal spot (#1) in this marketplace at a time when the market is again really swinging their way. Besides top-dog Bitcoin, some sportsbooks are taking Litecoin (LTC, $3.288)—#3 in the recent Top Cryptocurrency Rankings List and there are numerous new players in the market to watch including Ethereum—aka Ether—(ETH, #2 in Market capitalization), #4 Dogecoin (DOGE), #5 Ripple (XRP), #6 Monero (XMR), #7 Dash (DASH), #8 MaidSafeCoin (MAID), #9 BitShares (BTS) and #10 Counterparty (XCP) as well as others with funky names like Feathercoin (#11), NXT (#12), Namecoin (#13), Peercoin (#14) Vertcoin (#15), Bitfinex, OKCoin, Bitstamp, itBit and on and on and on.
Maybe someday, you too can have your very own Cryptocurrency, but the big key for this concept and marketplace is gaining acceptance and popularity—Bitcoin has admittedly done a pretty good job since its inception in 2008/2009—and the ability to use these Cryptocurrencies in Sportsbooks Online, in Europe, Offshore as well as here in Las Vegas where the concept is less than a blip on anyone’s radar screen—for Now—although we’ll talk about that some below. And it’s hard to see some of these new Cryptocurrencies making it as such new and cynically perceived Digital Currencies, but the nearly 100% price rise in Bitcoin over the last year is a very good sign.
And after the simple chocolate Hershey’s Bar came out in 1900, other Candy Bar manufacturers probably thought they had no chance in a market saturated by such a new, wonderful, simple and delicious product. But through the years, that specific market saw thousands of other Candy Bars developed—some made it and some didn’t—and in 11.11 years we may look back and actually see Bitcoin as the Hershey’s bar of the Digital Currencies.
Are There Any Casinos in Las Vegas Which Are Accepting Bitcoin Now?
Two Downtown Las Vegas casinos have already opened their arms to Bitcoin—the D Las Vegas (301 Fremont Street) and the Golden Gate (1 Fremont Street)—with The D opening the first Bitcoin ATM in a casino in May of 2014 after the Nevada Gaming Commission conducted a thorough review. And Bitcoin ATM locations here in Sin City have been slowly but steadily increasing although Bitcoin can’t be used as a betting currency—the volatility of the virtual currency has prevented the NGC from letting Casinos use Bitcoin directly for gambling here in the Silver State—and must be converted into Cash at one of these ATM-like locations.
The first Robocoin machine ever—these things can hold up to $500,000 in Cash—was installed in a Coffee Shop (Wave’s Coffee House), in of all places, Canada (Vancouver, British Columbia) and drew International headlines in October 0f 2013 when it did a reported $100,000 worth of transactions in the first 8 days and $1 million in the first 29. I think they like it, Bubba.
New customers (in Las Vegas or anywhere with Bitcoin Robocoin ATM Machines) can set-up a Bitcoin ATM account in around 5 minutes with just a Telephone and PIN verification but it may take some time for Cryptocurrencies to come even close to the popularity of Betting Chips in Sin City and the vast, vast majority of Sharp and General Public bettors in Nevada bet with cold, hard Cash although the high-rolling International customers coming into Las Vegas would definitely be more apt to utilize Bitcoin, so expect its use in Sportsbooks everywhere to (very) slowly grow like betting on PGA Championship Golf Futures strangely did. But at Sportsbooks Online and Offshore, these fledgling Cryptocurrencies may slowly become more sizable sources of Sports Betting revenue for Sportsbooks over the next 5-10 years, especially if the rapidly rising Bitcoin value keeps creating such a buzz.