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The Bitcoin hype became bigger and bigger in December 2017. Meanwhile it is a bit flattened again – a Bitcoin costs less than 10.000 Euro. Nevertheless, many operators of online casinos are flirting with the crypto currency – regulatory authorities are worried about money laundering by Bitcoins.

The Bitcoin does not stop also before on-line Casinos and Internet far lotteries. The Malta Gaming Authority had already dealt with Bitcoin gambling in a study in July, but the crypto currencies have not yet been approved as payment systems.

Regulatory authorities in other countries are already one step ahead at this point. For casinos with a Curaçao license, for example, it is no problem to offer Bitcoins as a payment system – but one should carefully consider whether one really wants to play in such a casino. There are operators who do not pay out winnings and you cannot expect help from the regulatory authority in Curaçao.

Some providers with a Gibraltar license also offer deposit via Bitcoins. In December, the Financial Supervisory Authority introduced a new law to regulate blockchain technology – but now doubts about money laundering are growing at the Gaming Authority.

First Bitcoin Lottery

The most prominent example at this point is the lottery provider Lottoland. In December, they had started to offer a Bitcoin jackpot. Against the employment of 3,50€ per Tippfeld, one can play 6 from 49 without super number. According to Lottoland there is a draw every day except Sunday. It concerns a progressive Jackpot, whereby at least 1,000 Bitcoins can be won, which corresponded to 16 million euro at that time, meanwhile however only 9.6 million euro are.

The odds, by the way, are better than with the traditional lottery. Due to the absence of the additional number, the chance of winning is 1:14 million, instead of 1:140 million as with the normal lotto.

Although the lottery provider has advertised that you can “easily participate in the Bitcoin boom”, it is also possible, according to the company, to have winnings paid out in euros at the current rate.

Aversion to crypto currencies on the part of the regulatory authorities rises

The fact that Gibraltar has now regulated payments via blockchain technologies is seen above all as an economic move. After Brexit, many start-ups would like to once again make a branch on the Spanish headland attractive. For the Gibraltar regulatory authority, however, Bitcoins are causing additional problems. It is already known that providers in many countries are currently operating in a grey area as far as the legality of gambling is concerned.

Through Bitcoins, however, casinos and lottery outlets can now completely escape the control of financial service providers. Phill Brear, Gibraltar’s Gaming Officer, therefore made it very clear what they think of Bitcoins in the online casino, lottery, bingo and sports betting sectors:

We believe that Bitcoins are not an acceptable form of payment for our gaming companies.

You have problems with the bad reputation of the crypto currency because you have associated dishonest transactions with it in the past. Due to the relatively anonymous payment method, it is not possible to trace where the money comes from, which could mean major problems in terms of money laundering. Also, the Bitcoin rate is very unstable. Furthermore, it is not a recognised currency, but merely an object of speculation with which one can do good business at present.

Nevertheless, one does not want to prohibit the use of Bitcoins in the gambling sector by law. However, the gaming authorities have announced that they will keep a special eye on providers who use Bitcoins as a payment system. Lightning network BTC games fly more under the radar of the authorities.

The Bitcoin Lotterie of Lottoland is considered thereby as special form, which one would not like to stop so far despite the reservations. Finally only the price in Bitcoins is touted, but the payments take place at present only to a small part in the crypto currency. Nevertheless, the regulatory authority insists that the provider must show how to estimate and, above all, pay out profits.

Conclusion: Bitcoin remains a controversial issue in the new year as well

Lottoland has recognised that the increasing popularity of Bitcoins has made it possible to use a lottery with the crypto currency as an additional drawhorse. The Spanish lottery “Sorteos De Bonoloto” served as a model for this. Ultimately, the digital coins are not yet a recognized currency and even states in which the gambling problem is seen rather loosely (such as Gibraltar), have problems with the use of Bitcoins.

It remains to be seen how the development of Bitcoin’s gambling services will continue and whether there will ever be really serious providers who will allow deposits of Bitcoins and pay out the winnings guaranteed. The hype continues.