In case you are new to Bitcoin, I am going to provide you with some information about its current condition and some of its intricacies that should influence the way in which you utilize it for casino transactions. Readers with a decent knowledge about bitcoin, but are new to using it for casino transactions, will benefit most by skipping directly to my number recommendations.
Bitcoin is quickly becoming a household name and is steadily gaining worldwide recognition as a legitimate commodity. Bitcoin allows transactions to occur anonymously, without limitations based on location, currency exchange rates, or bank/credit card issuer policy. It can be bought, sold, or traded in a matter of minutes, and is irreversible so the vendor can feel comfortable releasing the agreed upon material/service immediately without worrying about a stop-payment or insufficient fund notice. Users can even change their wallet address with each transaction so one can not be linked to another.
In the online arena, gambler and casino alike can benefit from using Bitcoin so long as it is done smartly, by those with a good understanding of the commodity. For the house, there is no risk of stop-payment, and casino credit can be issued with full confidence immediately upon receipt. For the player, use of bitcoin helps to conceal the recipient/origin of the funds. While you are expected to report winnings to your government for taxation purposes, these winnings are considered to be a commodity instead of a currency (in most countries) and the value is not realized until the bitcoins are sold. Due to the fairly high volatility of Bitcoin, any winnings from the play could then be lost or exaggerated with the fluctuation of the Bitcoin market between the time of receipt and conversion into local currency. Remember also, two transactions cannot be linked to each other (just because I deposited $50 worth on Monday, doesn’t mean that was how I got the $200 on Wednesday.) This can be seen as a positive or a negative depending on how accurately you wish to report your gains/losses.
The greatest benefit that I am finding as a USA player is the ease of deposit and withdraw using Bitcoin. Not to delve too deeply into the woes of the online USA gambler, but it isn’t always easy to use a VISA or Mastercard for depositing and it can be even harder and more time consuming to receive your winnings, no matter how creative the casinos get with your withdrawal options. I have a Canadian issued withdrawal check held up in “collections” for almost 8 weeks now by a credit union.
Get started with Bitcoin! Bitcoin.com is a very user friendly and understandable guide, and they have an online casino as well if you want to do some gaming with your bitcoins: Bitcoin.com Games. I highly encourage anyone who is interested in this to check it out without hesitation. They will even help guide you to a wallet/exchange that best suits your needs. Just be aware of the ways that its trade can affect your casino experience. Some tips based on issues I had along the way:
- Buy a couple more dollars than you think will need. Due to the fluctuation of Bitcoin values, the $35 I had purchased several minutes earlier through my wallet lost some value and my deposit ended up at about $34.30 by the time it then went from me to the casino. Just shy of the min. $35 deposit bonus I had requested. The livechat rep. at SlotoCash was able to add something to my account, but it wasn’t the same bonus that attracted me to make the deposit in the first place, and I pretty much started my gaming already on tilt as a result.
- Know your limits. I’m not talking about how much you can afford to lose, or being a responsible gambler, etc. I’m talking about planning around purchase limits on whatever wallet or exchange you are using so that you can spend as much as you had planned on! In my case during the botched deposit above, my initial thought was to purchase and deposit a few more dollars’ worth of bitcoin and the casino min. deposit was set at $10. I was only eligible to purchase $40 per day instantly with my debt card and had already bought $35. My options became wait until tomorrow when I could buy another $40 with my debt card, wait for three days and purchase Bitcoin using my bank account, go through the process of opening an entirely new wallet, or play on angrily. I think I already mentioned which one I chose.
- Anticipate fluctuation. Although highly reactive and still fairly volatile, Bitcoin values will rise and fall according to predictable variables and trends. Waiting until you’re ready to play to purchase your bitcoins may not be your most economical option if you want to join the Bitcoin bull market; buy now, play later. Think about your withdrawal requests too, and set yourself reminders. If you’re facing a bear market, convert those into your local currency as quickly as you can after your Bitcoin hits your wallet.
- Be patient and plan ahead. A bitcoin transfer can take up to 90 minutes. If you only have a short window of time in your day to enjoy a casino, don’t spend most of it staring at your computer screen waiting for the transfer to be accepted, deposit ahead of time. Some casinos like Bovada have credited me almost right away and have responded well to livechat prompts to check on deposits. Other sites will tell you to ask again after a certain period of time has elapsed if you don’t have the bankroll.