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Is Bitcoin Gambling Legal?

The Current State of the Bitcoin and Gambling Industry From a Legal Point of View

  • Bitcoin is becoming a widely popular commodity and is thus beginning to garner the attention of governments worldwide.  It is important to understand how to ensure you keep your bitcoin gambling habits to a  legal habits and protect yourself while operating a btc casino.  It is equally significant to ensure that it is legal for you to wager on bitcoin casinos.
  • Licensing is an area of some confusion.  There are different types of licenses that can make a significant difference.  For instance, while the United States prohibits most from processing gambling payments, it does not regulate Native American Indian Tribes from doing so.
    Bitcoin Gambling LegalA license in conjunction with a native tribe will hold a lot more weight in United States operations than other licenses.  Many small countries like The Isle of Man, Gibraltar, and Costa Rica offer licensing for bitcoin casinos.  Companies that seek licenses from these nations are required to host their games there.  This is often circumvented by placing one backup server directly in the country and then running the bitcoin casino itself in a place that is more convenient to the business.  Bitcoin casinos have two motivations for obtaining these licenses.  First, they give the bitcoin casino a verifiable means of showing they are licensed and regulated.  Secondly, it gives the company a legal standing to show that they are operating within the law of the country they are located in. Offering bitcoin casino services to other countries is where potential problems exist.  While the bitcoin casino is following the law of the country they operate from, local authorities in other countries might not agree that it is legal for them to provide gaming to citizens under their jurisdiction.  Bitcoin casino operators should carefully look into local laws and previous cases before deciding to open their business to customers worldwide.  Likewise, those interested in wagering should check that the site they wager on is licensed by a respected organization.

Large Population Centers Where You can Legally Offer Bets and Place Wagers on Bitcoin Sites

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  • The United States is a grey area in terms of bitcoin casino legality.  The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006.  As it is a federal level law, it supersedes any state law that would make your bitcoin casino play or offering legal.  The wording here is very specific and important, the UIGEA “prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.”  This means that it is illegal for your business to take payments in connection with any internet gambling site you are running.  While bitcoin is not a legal currency in the United States, it is important to take the steps to make your bitcoin casino legal and not expose yourself to any legal issues.  There is no law prohibiting United States citizens from wagering at bitcoin casinos.
  • Russian law prohibits citizens from participating in internet gambling.  The enforcement of this regulation is a very grey area however.  Many bitcoin casinos operate in Russia, and there is a large population of customers.  There is also a large population of online poker players who have been wagering on card games for many years without restraint.  You will probably not encounter many issues if you host a bitcoin casino here and you almost certainly will not if you simply wager on them.
  • China prohibits all of their citizens from participating or hosting bitcoin casinos.  Enforcement is key here however, like Russia, China has a large online poker community.  Technically it is illegal, but there is little follow through from the government in terms of citizens choosing to wager.  Hosting a bitcoin site here holds more of a risk.
  • India has no regulations on bitcoin casinos outside of the province of Maharashtra, meaning it is legal to operate and wager on bitcoin casinos countrywide elsewhere.
  • Australia prohibits both offshore and local companies from offering bitcoin casinos to their population.  Players however, have no restriction against them wagering and are legally entitled to do so.
  • Turkey has banned both operating a bitcoin casino and wagering there for all of it’s citizens.

So, are Bitcoin Casinos and Bitcoin Gambling Sites legal?

  • Yes, bitcoin gambling legal side can be on your side. Under some circumstances bitcoin gambling sites are completely legal to both operate and participate. With the rise of bitcoin popularity there is legislation being enacted and introduced throughout the world.  Keeping up with new regulation is encouraged to ensure you do not run afoul of any laws.
  • Enforcement is key to understand if your bitcoin casino play is legal. You have the legal right to wager in most countries throughout the world, as anti gambling legislation is aimed at the processing of funds and the companies offering the games.  Enforcement is lax to non-existent in the majority of countries that do prohibit their citizens from wagering at bitcoin casinos.
  • Making your bitcoin casino legal is undoubtedly more of a challenge than simply wagering on one.  Many large countries prohibit companies domestic and abroad from offering their citizens gambling entertainment.   Obtaining a license from a country that offers them and enforces regulation is a good idea.  You will then have a legal means of showing that your bitcoin casino operates under restrictions that protect both you and your customers.  Specific licenses may have more weight than others legally, so it is important to look into the reputation and advantages of each.

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