There are two main types of gambling websites which use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies: those built specifically for crypto users, and those who just use it as another way to deposit/withdraw money. The first category is a little more niche, since it appeals direct to crypto holders. Their main marketing idea is that some people want to do something with their Bitcoins, and since there aren’t a lot of real life solutions at the moment, they can start gambling them. These websites usually don’t give the best odds for their games, since they have to rely on pretty large commissions for working with Bitcoin.
The second category are classic sportsbooks or online casinos which have chosen to allow the cryptocurrency trend. These operators range from simply allowing Bitcoin deposits and withdraws, without any bonuses or offers attached to them, to those who actively encourage customers to use cryptocurrencies as their main way of interacting financially with the broker. There are lots of models in between, of course. It all depends on the overall position that the gambling site has towards cryptocurrencies. We have to mention one more thing here: Bitcoin isn’t the only thing out there. Most brokers who accept Bitcoin also accept other digital coins, like Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin or Dash.
If you’re new to gambling with Bitcoin or aren’t exactly sure what the advantages and drawbacks are, here are a few things you should consider.
Advantages of Bitcoin Sportsbooks
- Anonimity. One of the biggest selling points of cryptocurrencies, in general, is the fact that their transactions cannot be traced back to humans. They’re made between wallets, which are essentially a virtual address composed of lots of numbers. There’s no way to track a transaction back to a person, unless they want this to happen! This leads to some good advantages for those of you who want to hide their betting activities – not for illicit reasons, but maybe your spouse doesn’t need to know absolutely everything.
- Tax advantages. In most parts of the world, laws around how to tax cryptocurrencies are still in their infancy. You might even get away with paying no tax at all on the profits you make, especially if you use more niche coins. We recommend being completely transparent with your income from betting with cryptocurrencies, if there is a clear legal requirement that you do so. If not, hey, more profits for you.
- Quickness of deposits. This isn’t a selling point compared to credit and debit cards, but should still be mentioned. Bitcoin transactions don’t happen instantly, but if you pay enough gas (and gambling companies usually do), they pass through in 1-2 hours – a lot quicker than bank transfers, for example.
- Long term investment. We don’t really mention the foreign exchange aspect of gambling a lot, since most of US readers are paid in US dollars, gamble in US dollars and withdraw profits in US dollars. Even if they would consider things like inflation or the dollar index, it still wouldn’t impact them a lot. This fact doesn’t apply to Bitcoin – in a bull market, you could also win from the appreciation of Bitcoin, which (as seen in the past) can be quite spectacular.
Disadvantages of Bitcoin Sportsbooks
All the above-mentioned advantages sound really good, but there are some less-ideal parts about Bitcoin gambling you should know about:
- Unstable market. The last upside can also be seen as a downside. If you catch your favorite cryptocurrency in a bear market, this might erase any winnings you get from gambling. You’ll receive cryptos from winning casino games or bets, but they’ll be worth a lot less.
- Security. Cryptocurrency transactions are a lot more secure than credit card ones, but people aren’t very knowledgeable about how to use crypto wallets. They end up storing things like private keys in all the wrong places. Additionally, we’ve seen companies a lot bigger than gambling websites (like exchanges) get hacked and get all their crypto funds stolen.
- Bad gambling conditions. This isn’t a generality, but as mentioned before in the article, some gambling companies which are more focused on the cryptocurrency aspect of the business often offer sub-par betting conditions. We’re used to seeing less-ideal odds and win percentages with gambling sites heavily involved with cryptocurrencies.
- Less ideal customer service. Since there are some technicalities to be understood when dealing with Bitcoin, customer service might not be so quick to solve issues as they are for standard deposits.
- Complicated software for first-timers. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin need some technical background to be fully understood. They don’t work like a credit card where you just put some number in and the money gets transferred. If you don’t already have experience in dealing with cryptos, you might want to skip using them to gamble entirely. If you do insist on learning, be prepared to spend a good couple of hours.
- Not suitable for small accounts. Although the number of transactions is growing day by day, crypto transactions are still fairly expensive. You’ll need to pay fees (in Bitcoin, for example) which amount to $10 or $20 for each transaction. If your account holds several Bitcoin, you won’t even feel them, but if you plan on creating an account with $50 or $100 worth of Bitcoin, it surely won’t be worth it – if the broker will even allow it.
That being said, we hope we provided enough information and details for you to be able to figure out if using cryptocurrencies in your gambling adventures is worth it or not. It will be a different story for everyone, of course, but we’re glad that US punters have another way of depositing and withdrawing funds.
How to Start Betting at a Bitcoin Sportsbook
As mentioned above, for bettors with no experience of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin sportsbooks may appear a little intimidating. However, it’s not as complex as you first think. You can find a list of the best Bitcoin betting sites in the table above. Choose your favorite and create your account. From there, follow this step-by-step guide to buying some Bitcoin and getting started.
- Find a reputable cryptocurrency exchange: You buy Bitcoin from a digital asset exchange, so this is the first thing you need to do. For punters in the United States, Coinbase and Binance US are two of the leading exchanges. However, for players from other countries, we recommend doing a Google search for this information.
- Create an account and purchase Bitcoin: Once you’ve found an exchange, signup to create your account. The next step is to make a deposit. With money in your account, you’re now all set to get some Bitcoin. Go to the Bitcoin market and place a ‘Buy’ order. Usually, the price is automatically inserted, so the order is filled immediately (depending on the amount you are buying).
- You now have Bitcoin in your exchange wallet: Log in to your sportsbook and go to the banking section. Choose the option to ‘deposit using Bitcoin’; you will see a long address (numbers and letters), which is your sportsbook wallet. Copy this address.
- Send BTC to the betting site: Back on the exchange, click ‘withdraw’ or ‘send’ Bitcoin (BTC). Insert how much BTC you want to send and paste in the address from step 3.
- It’s time to bet: It may take an hour, but sure enough, you’ll soon have the Bitcoin ready to bet on sports.
Making withdrawals (from the sportsbook to the exchange) follows the same process. Only this time, you need the ‘receive’ Bitcoin address on your exchange. Lastly, you sell the Bitcoin and withdraw the dollars, or whichever currency you are using. We agree, it is more long-winded when betting with Bitcoin, but once you have things set up, it is relatively straightforward.
Bitcoin Sportsbook Bonuses
To get more value when betting, it’s worth checking out the bonuses and promotions that are available at the best Bitcoin sportsbooks. Here’s an overview of what you can expect to find.
- Welcome bonus: When you join a Bitcoin sports betting operator, you’ll be eligible to claim the welcome bonus. The majority of these are matched deposit offers. Therefore, the size of your Bitcoin betting bonus depends on how much you initially deposit. Like all bonus offers, terms and conditions apply, which we advise reading before you claim them.
- Reload bonus: These Bitcoin bonuses are essentially the same as the welcome offers described above; however, the matched percentage is usually less. Still, if you want a boost to your sports betting balance each time you make a Bitcoin deposit, a reload bonus is for you.
- Refer-a-friend: One of the best Bitcoin offers is the refer-a-friend bonus. All you have to do is share your referral link with your friends. When one of them signs up and makes a deposit, you get a free play cash bonus.
In addition to these bonuses, there are several regular offers, such as odds boosts and increased payouts on parlays, up for grabs at your favored Bitcoin sportsbook.
Tips for Choosing the Best Bitcoin Sportsbooks
There are several factors to consider when deciding which Bitcoin sportsbook is the right one for you. That is why we have written a thorough review of each of the sites listed on this page. If you’re new to the world of online sports betting, these are some things you must think about.
Sports and Markets
At each of the best Bitcoin sportsbooks, you can bet on a range of sports, including NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, soccer, tennis, golf, and esports, among others. Most offer horse racing as well. You can enjoy pre-match and live betting across hundreds of unique betting markets; however, you will find the certain BTC sports betting sites are stronger than others on specific sports. For example, one site may have a better selection of bets for NFL wagering, whereas a rival sportsbook is more suitable for soccer betting.
As a bettor, you want to get the most return on your winning bets, and that’s why you need to use the Bitcoin sportsbooks which have the best odds. We suggest calculating the bookie’s margins across several markets so that you get a rounded opinion of the betting odds. Furthermore, there is a strong argument to be made that punters should join multiple Bitcoin sportsbooks to guarantee that you get top odds when betting. What this means is instead of depositing $500 worth of Bitcoin on one platform, you split that amount across three or four sites. It’s a smart strategy to improve your long-term profits.
Bonuses and Promotions
Bonus offers are a big part of the online sports betting industry. All Bitcoin sportsbooks offer a good selection of promotions, but they are different, and the terms are not the same either. For example, a few operators have a 30-day bonus hold policy, which means you cannot withdraw your winnings until this time limit expires. It is little things like this that make a big difference. Use our sportsbook review pages to compare these bonuses, so you know which ones present the best value for your style of betting.
Deposits and Withdrawals Fees
To encourage punters to use Bitcoin; several online sportsbooks have removed the fees for depositing and withdrawing. However, in some instances, you are only allowed one free withdrawal each month. Of course, you don’t want to pay any more than you have to as it eats into your profits, so this is something worth finding out when comparing the top Bitcoin sportsbooks.
While all Bitcoin betting sites offer a mobile platform, some are more user-friendly than others. This is particularly true when talking about mobile betting apps. If your desire is to place your bets on the go, then the quality of this product is crucial to your overall experience.