As with the regulation of cryptocurrencies as a whole, crypto gambling regulation varies greatly from country to country.
The still-nascent blockchain sector and cryptocurrency economy is progressing. Market fluctuation of cryptocurrency prices and the crypto winter of 2018 held back the market, but it could now be in recovery. Blockchain, the technology behind cryptocurrency, is outpacing its own digital money, and is today seen on the agenda of software developers and procurers around the world.
Cryptocurrency use is likely to be driven higher by the feasible success of blockchain. Global regulators though, are still striving to catch up after the Bitcoin price-boom of 2017. At this point cryptocurrencies were flung into the spotlight and the world saw billions in investor’s cash moved away from traditional investments and into these shiny new digital assets.
So how is cryptocurrency gambling regulated around the world?
There is little coordination amongst global regulators. Yet collaborations like the Group of Seven (G7) and the European Union (EU) may pool their ideas and bring some regulatory standardisation across Europe and similarities amongst the largest economies.
CoinTelegraph writes that while many countries regulate online gambling only a few regulate crypto gambling. To date, this includes the UK, Italy, The Netherlands, Greece, Poland and Belgium. But, Bitcoin is not classed as legal tender in many countries and this excludes its use in gambling. The new innovative nature of crypto and its sudden emergence means this, however, is a very grey area and clarity on regulation is being called for.
In the UK, the UK Gambling Commission allows gambling using bitcoin and a number of online gambling platforms accept cryptocurrency but must following the UK’s existing gambling laws. There are also a number of cryptocurrency-using sports betting websites in the UK and UK gambling regulators will license online cryptocurrency casinos. So too will gambling regulators in Curacao and Malta, according to mBitcasino. There are a number of cryptocurrency casinos registered in these locations.
In the US, established Las Vegas casinos are beginning to accept cryptocurrency but regulatory attention in the US is slow. Online casinos drew much scrutiny after Black Friday and are recovering their reputation. More US states are starting to legalize online gambling, but with little support for online casinos, cryptocurrency casinos are likely to see little favour in the US in the near future.
In Japan, the country’s strict gambling rules apply to gambling using cryptocurrency. It has passed laws that affect the use of cryptocurrencies recently, namely the Payment Services Act and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. In July 2018, it also passed a law to allow physical casinos and some expect online gambling to follow once these are established. This could pave the way for crypto gambling in Japan, later.
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Cryptocurrency gambling is certainly regulated differently across the globe and is still a very grey area for many countries. While it’s unlikely that eventually every country will allow crypto gambling operations, it is likely that many countries will be pushed into legislating one way or another as the sector develops.
Back in August one of the most forward-thinking esports betting sites, Unikrn, partnered with the TRON Foundation in order to include the Tron (TRX) cryptocurrency on the platform. The choice of such a new coin by a large platform is a bold move and indicative that cryptocurrencies in one coin or another are here to stay.