Choosing the Best Bitcoin Casino
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t accepted as at many casinos as traditional currencies such as the euro, the pound sterling or the dollar. However, there are still plenty of casinos where cryptocurrencies can be used; since these currencies are quite popular, the number of casinos that accepts them is steadily increasing.
Lots of popular and reputable casinos accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If you’re after somewhere to gamble online using Bitcoin, there are plenty of choices available. Whittling down these choices is easy enough; all you have to do is compare what they have to offer and read some reviews to see which ones are worth signing up to.
When deciding on a casino to sign up to, there are some things you should take into account:
- Games. Most casinos have a wide range of games, from slots and table/card games, to live dealer games, video poker and other games such as scratchcards, keno and bingo. Ideally, a casino should have games by lots of well known, reputable providers. Many casinos offer hundreds of games; some of the bigger ones have several thousand lined up.
- Bonuses. The main way casinos get people to sign up is by offering bonuses. These can vary in size from one casino to the next. You should sign up to a casino with generous bonuses that have fair terms and conditions.
- Banking. If you’re going to use Bitcoin at an online casino, the site should have short deposit and withdrawal times, and preferably no fees. The limits on how much you can withdraw should be reasonable.
- Customer Support. The online casino you sign up to should have a reliable customer support system. There should be several ways of getting in touch and you should be able to contact the team at any time.
- Security. A casino should have lots of information about the measures it takes to keep players safe and protected. It should use advanced security software, be fully licensed and offer help for those who have gambling problems.
- Loyalty and VIP. Many casinos reward players’ commitment through special loyalty schemes and VIP clubs. Everyone’s free to work their way up a loyalty scheme and earn bonuses and rewards for their loyalty; VIP clubs are reserved for the most dedicated of player only.
Basic Information about Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies which are not connected to any central banks. Cryptocurrencies are ‘mined’ online and then stored in digital wallets from where they can be used to pay for many goods and services. Bitcoin was the first of this new type of currency to become successful, and it remains the most famous to date. Today there are more than 1,600 cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin makes up over 40% of the total value of these.
Bitcoin first made an appearance in 2009, but by May 2010 one Bitcoin (BTC) was still worth less than a cent. Over time, however, Bitcoin started to appreciate in value until it was worth the same as a US dollar by February of 2011. The year 2017 saw an incredible boom in the market for this currency, peaking at an unbelievable value of $17,900 by the end of the year. The value has gone down again since then, but it is impossible to predict if or when it will surge again.
Bitcoin is just like any other currency in that it doesn’t have a fixed value. However, just like other cryptocurrencies its value can experience quite dramatic fluctuations. It’s highly volatile and its price can increase by a lot in a short amount of time; this is good for those who own Bitcoins because they become more valuable. However, Bitcoin can just as easily decrease in price quite quickly; those who own Bitcoins don’t want this to happen because it means their Bitcoins are worth less than before.
As of the time of writing (end of May 2021), 1 Bitcoin is worth close to £28,000. It hasn’t always been worth this much. In fact, before 2017 1 Bitcoin wasn’t even worth over £1,000. Its current value is what it is thanks to a number of price booms that have happened. The first major one took place in 2017. By the end of the year, 1 Bitcoin was worth roughly 13x what it had been at the start of the year.
The second and biggest price boom took place from late 2020 to early 2021. During this time, the value of 1 Bitcoin skyrocketed from about £7,000 to a staggering £40,000. This unprecedented rise in the cryptocurrency’s value was undoubtedly a consequence of the world economy being severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With countless business around the world shut down, government restrictions limiting economic recovery and there being uncertainty about the future, many started using cryptocurrencies. They saw these entirely digital currencies as a safe option at a time when many traditional currencies were losing value.
A Brief History of Cryptocurrency Gambling
Bitcoin, the very first cryptocurrency, was invented in 2008 and came online in early 2009. It was created by Satoshi Nakamoto – some believe this is a single, unknown person; others think it’s a pseudonym for a group of people. It was designed to be a decentralised, completely public digital currency. It’s not connected to a bank or financial authority of any kind, and it offers users more privacy and anonymity than traditional currencies can.
In 2014, the very first fully licensed Bitcoin casino, Bitcasino.io, was launched. The aim of this gambling destination was simple: to enable people to gamble online using their Bitcoins. The cryptocurrency was growing in popularity, and it made sense to capitalise on the expanding market. This paved the way for more casinos to start accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Many casinos that have been operating since before Bitcoin launched have started accepting it as well as other cryptocurrencies, as have many younger casinos. It’s not uncommon for brand new casino sites to have Bitcoin and possibly a few other cryptocurrencies listed as accepted payment methods. New sites especially have to be competitive if they’re to stay in business, so by letting people use cryptocurrencies they’re enabling as many people as possible to spend money.
Is Gambling With Bitcoin Legal in the UK?
It’s perfectly legal to gamble online with Bitcoin in the UK. For an online casino to be legally permitted to operate, it has to have a licence from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). This regulatory authority only hands out licences to casinos that have met its strict standards. If a casino has a licence from the UKGC, this means the regulator has deemed it a safe and trustworthy site.
A UKGC licence permits an online casino to accept a wide range of traditional fiat currencies, as well as digital currencies (i.e. cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin). If a casino has a UKGC licence, it’s therefore allowed to accept Bitcoin and you can use the cryptocurrency for real-money gambling without breaking any laws.
Reliable Bitcoin Casinos
The Casino Gorilla may not know the details of how Bitcoin works, but he certainly knows the best UK Bitcoin Casinos around. There are certain Bitcoin Casinos out there which operate in the grey area when it comes to legal matters. The Casino Gorilla has no interest in any of these dodgy operators, and will only recommend the most secure, trustworthy and reliable Bitcoin Casinos. Here are some features of trusted Bitcoin casinos:
- Have a licence from a regulatory authority.
- Use advanced security software to keep players protected.
- Offer a reliable customer support system.
- Have reasonable terms and conditions for general use of the casino as well as for the bonuses.
- Have good reviews from both players and third-party critics alike.
- Haven’t been blacklisted.
- Make their terms and conditions reasonable and fair.
- Are open and honest about everything.
Bitcoin Casino Safety and Licensing
The majority of online casinos, including those that accept Bitcoin, are perfectly safe and trustworthy. However, a very small number of them are dodgy and should be avoided at all costs.
The quickest and easiest way you can tell whether a casino is safe or not is by checking to see if it has a licence. In the section above, we talked about how casinos need to be licensed in order to legally operate. When you visit a casino, scroll down to the bottom of any page and you should find proof of a licence, such as a regulatory authority’s logo or a piece of text explaining where the casino’s licensed.
If you can clearly see that the casino is licensed, you can rest assured that it’s a secure site and that playing there shouldn’t be risky. However, if you can’t find evidence of a licence anywhere, it’s best to sign up to a different casino instead. The reason for this is that unlicensed casinos haven’t been independently reviewed and may not be reliable.
How to Purchase Bitcoins in the UK
You may be surprised to learn just how easy it is to purchase Bitcoins. All you have to do is set up an online Bitcoin wallet, which is a type of electronic wallet very similar to PayPal or Neteller. Once you have set up your wallet then you must connect your bank account and complete the verification process to make sure that you are the owner of that bank account. Once that simple process has been completed then you are free to buy and sell Bitcoins!
Using Bitcoin Exchanges and Wallets
To use Bitcoin or any other type of cryptocurrency, you’ll need to get a crypto wallet. This is a digital wallet where you can store your currency. You can also make payments using money in your wallet and receive payments from others into your wallet.
All wallets offer the same basic function of storing Bitcoin. The full line-up of extra features varies from one wallet to the next. Many are compatible with other cryptocurrencies, for example, and some have additional security measures in place.
Below are some of the top-rated crypto wallets available to use today:
- Exodus. This option is recommended for those who are new to cryptocurrencies. It’s very user friendly and is designed to be fully accessible to everyone, regardless of their past experience with online payments. You can switch between over 100 cryptocurrencies and using the wallet is free of charge. The customer support system is particularly good.
- Electrum. Electrum is one of the oldest crypto wallet options. It’s been around since 2011 and is compatible with Bitcoin only. It offers a range of customisable features, including the ability to set your own transaction fees, and its security measures are impressive.
- Mycelium. This is another wallet that’s only compatible with Bitcoin. It was first released in 2013 as an app for Android devices, though it’s now usable on the iOS operating platform as well. There isn’t a desktop version of Mycelium: it’s only available on phones. The creators of this wallet have taken extra steps to ensure it’s a safe and secure option.
- Coinbase. Coinbase is one of the most popular crypto wallets on the market right now. It’s very good for those looking to make transactions with companies, though it’s a great choice for online gambling as well. It has many features, including the ability to earn cryptocurrencies, and is a reliable option for all cryptocurrency users, even complete beginners.
- Trezor. With Trezor, you can use an external hardware device to store your money offline. The device costs money, but many people are prepared to pay to have their money stored offline. Trezor and other similar wallets are a bit complex and are perhaps better suited for those with more experience using cryptocurrencies.
The main way you acquire cryptocurrencies is by visiting an exchange. This is a digital marketplace where you can purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You’re able to use traditional currencies or even other cryptocurrencies – you may purchase Litecoin with Ethereum, for example, or Bitcoin Cash with US dollars.
The way you use an exchange is simple. First, you register and go through a brief verification process. Your account will then be set up and you’ll be able to deposit funds into it, usually by using a bank transfer or other payment methods such as bank cards.
- Kraken. Kraken is a trusted and well established exchange that’s got an excellent reputation thanks to its rigorous security standards, its low fees and its top-notch service. It supports many different currencies and offers more than enough help for beginners, or anyone who needs things explaining better. It’s a solid choice and if you go for it, you’ll be in very safe hands.
- Bitstamp. This exchange has been online since 2011 and it offers users a safe, reliable and user friendly trading platform. Available both on desktop and mobile, it offers a range of advanced tools for experienced traders, though it’s just as good an option for those with less experience as well.
- Coinbase. With over 56 million users and in excess of $335 billion traded per quarter, Coinbase is one of the biggest and most frequently used cryptocurrency exchanges in the world today. It comes with a host of features – recurring buys, vault protection and portfolio management, among others – and is designed to be user friendly, intuitive and convenient.
- Binance. Binance is currently the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of the volume of money traded. It’s headquartered in the Cayman Islands and has been up and running since 2017. As well as running a top exchange, the company has launched two cryptocurrencies of its own: Binance Smart Chain and Binance Coin.
The wallets and exchanges we’ve listed above are just some of the many options. Before you select a wallet to store your funds, make sure you do some research to find the ideal one for you; read some reviews and compare the features that different wallets have to offer. Take the same approach when it comes to finding an exchange for purchasing Bitcoins.
Money Transfers in UK Bitcoin Casinos
Once you have created your Bitcoin wallet – as outlined above – then playing in UK online casinos using Bitcoin is easy. When you click on the BTC icon in your chosen online casino, you will see a unique code related to the casino Bitcoin wallet. Then you can either copy and paste this into you Bitcoin wallet’s address book, or you may have the option to scan a QR code instead. Now you go ahead and make your deposit. Bear in mind that you cannot use the same deposit address more than once.
How do Bitcoin Online Casinos in UK Work
Bitcoin Online Casinos in UK work in exactly the same way as any other online casinos. The difference is simply that you will be able to fund your account using this cryptocurrency, and to withdraw in Bitcoins as well. Apart from that the concept of Bitcoin Casinos is no different from any other type of online casino. Often, as well as Bitcoin, you will be able to use other cryptocurrencies and/or traditional payment methods to make deposits and withdrawals.
How to Play in UK Casinos with Bitcoin
Playing at a Bitcoin Casino is no different to playing at any other online casino. Once you have made your money transfer then you open up the game you are interested in and start playing. Assuming that your luck is in and you score some wins, then you can withdraw back to the same Bitcoin wallet you used to deposit with.
Bitcoin Casino Bonuses
All online casinos have bonuses. There are two key reasons they give out bonuses: to encourage new players to sign up and to encourage existing players to keep coming back and not sign up elsewhere.
At each casino there’s a welcome bonus that you can claim when you sign up and make your first deposit. Casinos also have bonuses for players who have already signed up; these can include limited-time promotions, competitions, tournaments and special rewards. Many casino sites also give you rewards for your loyalty through loyalty schemes and VIP clubs.
Bitcoin casinos are no different. The typical Bitcoin casino has plenty of bonuses lined up for players to claim, including free spins on popular slots, bonus money to use on most games and possibly other types of bonuses, such as cashback.
Some sites even have special bonuses that can only be claimed if you make a deposit using Bitcoin. These bonuses are offered in order to promote the fact that the casino accepts Bitcoin. The idea is that if a casino has Bitcoin-exclusive bonuses, it will be able to attract more cryptocurrency users. The more customers a casino has, the better.
Bitcoin Casino Games and Game Manufacturers
There are no games designed specifically to be played using Bitcoins – although who knows whether or not that will change in the future? Once you have deposited using your Bitcoin wallet you will be able to enjoy the same range of online casino games that non-Bitcoin users can play at your casino of choice.
Why Would You Want to Play in UK Casinos with Bitcoin?
There are a couple of reasons why casino players prefer to play with Bitcoin rather than with traditional currencies. One of these is the fact that more and more people are comfortable using this cryptocurrency these days, and they know that transactions are processed instantly to and from your Bitcoin wallet. Plus, people like the idea of accumulating Bitcoins in the hope that they increase in value in the future. There is also the factor that Bitcoin transactions are anonymous, and also that in regions where deposits with traditional methods can be tricky Bitcoins are a popular option.
Below are some reasons why Bitcoin is a good choice to use at online casinos:
- Fees. Many payment methods come with fees. Bitcoin’s are either very low, or non-existent. When depositing with Bitcoin, most of the time you won’t get charged. When withdrawing using this cryptocurrency, there may be a fee but most of the time it should b on the smaller side.
- Anonymity. With Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, you’re able to gamble online and remain completely anonymous. You can play at online casinos without having to provide them with any bank details.
- Security. Since you can deposit Bitcoins into a casino account without needing to supply your bank details, you’re better protected against things like identity theft and fraud.
Fast Withdrawals. For most payment methods, deposits are near-instant, whereas withdrawals can take up to several working days to reach you. Bitcoin’s withdrawal times can be very fast.
- Exclusive Bonuses. As we’ve already mentioned, some online casinos have bonuses you can only claim if you’re depositing with Bitcoin. These exclusive bonuses give you more chances to play for free and win real money in the process.
- Value. Bitcoin’s volatility can be a major disadvantage, but it can also be a major perk. If you convert your Bitcoins into a traditional currency when the time’s right, you could get a very good conversion rate.
Potential Risks and Disadvantages When Gambling Online with Bitcoin
Even though Bitcoin does have many advantages, it’s not without its disadvantages. The key one is, of course, the cryptocurrency’s volatility. As previously mentioned, its value can change quite abruptly and the changes in value can be dramatic; its price can increase or decrease by a considerable amount without warning.
Another disadvantage worth pointing out is that sometimes, withdrawals made with Bitcoin can take long than withdrawals made with other payment methods such as e-wallets. This is because some casinos prefer to carry out cryptocurrency withdrawals.
Some casinos let you deposit with Bitcoin, but don’t let you use the cryptocurrency. When you deposit it, it will be converted into a traditional currency, e.g. the euro. There may be fees for this. There will also be fees for when you want to convert Bitcoins in your crypto wallet into a traditional currency.
Finally, there’s the issue of licensing. Most online casinos are fully licensed and are perfectly safe to sign up to. However, there will always be a small number that operate without a licence and can’t be trusted. Some unlicensed casinos only accept cryptocurrencies; others accept cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies.
On this page, we’ve talked about using Bitcoin for online gambling, but there are many other cryptocurrencies you can use as well. Some of the most common options are:
- Bitcoin Cash. In 2017, a Bitcoin spin-off known as Bitcoin Cash was created because Bitcoin was seen as too expensive and unreliable. The following year, it was split into two different cryptocurrencies: one carried on as Bitcoin Cash, while the other was named Bitcoin SV.
- Ethereum. This cryptocurrency launched in 2015 and is the second biggest one today after Bitcoin. Its platform is operated by thousands of volunteers from around the world, known as nodes, and it often handles in excess of a million transactions a day. It was no supply cap unlike Bitcoin, which is capped at 21 million coins, and its blocks take around 12 seconds to validate, compared with around 10 minutes for Bitcoin’s blocks.
- Litecoin. An early spin-off of Bitcoin, Litecoin launched in 2011 and is very similar to Bitcoin in terms of its technical aspects and functions. However, there are few key differences: Litecoin can process transactions faster and mining devices are not only more complicated, but also more expensive to run.
- Ripple. Ripple is the company whose currency exchange supports a wide range of currencies including its very own cryptocurrency, XRP. With XRP, transactions are carried out a lot more quickly than other cryptocurrencies, plus they don’t take up as much energy; they’re also said to be a lot more reliable. Despite being owned and maintained by a private company, XRP is still decentralised.
Bitcoin is accepted at more online casinos than any other cryptocurrency, simply because it’s the most popular one. As for the other cryptocurrencies listed above, they can still be used at quite a few online casinos.
There are two types of online casinos that accept cryptocurrencies: those where you can use both traditional currencies and cryptocurrencies, and those where only cryptocurrencies can be used. The term ‘crypto casino’ refers to a casino that accepts cryptocurrencies and no traditional currencies.
At a typical crypto casino, you should find that Bitcoin and quite a few other cryptocurrencies can be used. If it’s a casino where both types of currency are accepted (crypto and traditional), the list of cryptocurrencies you can use might be shorter – at some of these casinos, for example, only Bitcoin can be used.
People were skeptical about Bitcoin when it first made an appearance in 2009, but these days more and more people are discovering the benefits of using this cryptocurrency. The online casino industry has reacted to this fact and now more casinos are happy to accept Bitcoin as a way to fund accounts. Bitcoin shows no signs of disappearing any time soon, so the chances are that the option to us Bitcoin to fund your casino account may become standard before very long. Who knows, even the Casino Gorilla may decide to open a Bitcoin wallet before too long!