Betting with Crypto: Know where you stand legally

Close-up bitcoins with cards and dices on wooden desk.

One of the key claims made for cryptocurrencies since they first entered the public consciousness has been that they will simplify financial transactions now and in the future. Of course, that claim was always something of a hostage to the understanding of legislative authorities worldwide, and crypto enthusiasts are learning that the hard way across a number of settings.

Let’s take as an example the question of betting with crypto. The world of casinos and sites like these betting sites not on Gamstop could be a lot simpler, and crypto coins could be part of that solution. However, it’s become ever more important to stop and think for a while when it comes to joining a crypto casino or placing a bet using Bitcoin, because there is now a greater degree of legislation when it comes to crypto, and not all of it makes much sense.

What is the problem with new and existing crypto laws?

Among the thorniest questions surrounding crypto is the tricky matter of how laws can differ among states and countries that sit right next to one another. A crypto bettor in France has to jump through hoops that a neighbor just across the German border may not. In short, due to the relative novelty of crypto as a currency, there is very little consensus on how it should be treated. Different jurisdictions variously see it as a currency, a form of property, and a store of value among other things. And while there is little to no settled law – because it’s all so new – it’s hard to know which laws in place right now will still be there in five years’ time.

Which countries have positive crypto legislation?

Even with a question so simple, the answer can be torturously complicated. There are some countries, for example, Sweden, where local betting providers must apply for a special license if they wish to allow the use of Bitcoin, while non-domestic casinos can do without one. Neighbouring Finland has no such differentiation between local and foreign – the provider must have a license, and that’s that. So it is easier for a Finnish casino to attract Swedish customers than to serve people living right next to their HQ.

So where are you banned from betting with crypto?

Inasmuch as there are laws designed to stop you, you aren’t banned from betting with crypto anywhere in the world. The more salient point is what your legal recourse would be if that betting went wrong for reasons beyond your control. In most cases, you’ll find you’re on your own because of jurisdictional questions. Bitcoin betting is technically illegal in the United States, in that it is illegal to offer the service to customers. It is not illegal for you to bet using Bitcoin in the United States – but if the casino takes your money and then folds, you’re not going to have any joy looking to local or regional authorities to get your money back.