The internet revolution wouldn’t have been complete without online gambling that makes it convenient for you to play from the comfort of your home whenever you want. Bitcoin gambling makes this experience even greater, bringing unique games to the fore, quick transactions and a degree of privacy that fiat cannot offer. But is Bitcoin gambling legal?
The question of whether Bitcoin gambling is legal or not is composed of at least 3 underlying questions: 1. Is gambling legal where you live? 2. Is Bitcoin legal where you live? 3. Does it really matter if any of those are legal if I am using an asset like Bitcoin, which is decentralized and doesn’t care about the law of the land?
Jurisdiction is the most important issue when dealing with any kind of gambling. Bitcoin casinos are not different. In the US for instance, the rules that apply to each individual depend on where they reside and where they are when they choose to play.
This puts any kind of online casino in the US within a grey area. When it comes to Bitcoin casinos, the problem might be even deeper. If the exchange of a commodity which is not regulated like other commodities that are publicly traded, is not deemed to be a financial transaction, then bitcoin casinos should be legal in the US.
Another interesting jurisdiction to look at is the United Kingdom. In a sense, regulation of online gambling in the UK is laxer than in the US. When it comes to Bitcoin, the FCA lists it as an unregulated digital asset, but Bitcoin transactions are taxable depending on their nature. Some of these regulations might change when the UK leaves the European Union – Brexit.
Regardless of whether it is legal or not, more gamblers are taking their chances and are gambling with Bitcoin using VPN services. They do so primarily to circumvent the fencing mechanisms that casinos have in place to keep gamblers from jurisdictions in which they do not have a license, from using their services. That is, if the casino is at all licensed. There are plenty of Bitcoin casinos that are not licensed, and players do not require VPN to gamble on them, because they have no interest in placing any barriers based on the player’s location.