Regulators in European countries want Internet gambling to become fully licensed, more transparent, less accessible to underaged, and compliant to more rigid marketing terms. These are the main reasons why they have been paying so much attention to the developments in the industry lately, seeking for possible solutions to enhance online casino gaming safety and turn into a ‘responsible’ pastime. It’s almost impossible to imagine today’s virtual gambling without Bitcoin, the virtual cryptocurrency widely used by players to make deposits and get payouts in, and it’s hardly any surprising BTC is so much spoken about nowadays.
In the United Kingdom, the government Gambling Commission, also known as UKGC, has made it clear to Internet gambling portals they too need to obtain licenses and observe the UK’s laws and acts on gambling, regardless of either the type of currency they perform transactions in or the jurisdiction they’re based in.
According to Jenny Williams, the Chief Executive of UKGC, there have been multiple cases of casino operators advertising all types of online Bitcoin casino games to their players. Unlike in many other states, the UK’s policy towards virtual casino gaming and Bitcoin gambling in particular has been fairly lenient and liberal.
Although there was a possibility for the virtual currency in the country to stay unregulated at all, as two years ago the UK government saw it right to grant remission of licensing and regulation to all local BTC entrepreneurs, including gambling operators for the reason the cryptocurrency was not officially deemed a payment method, in early 2015 the ministers changed their mind and proposed further measures to make BTC exchanges regulated so as to prevent their usage for money-laundering and other unlawful activities.
The whole Internet gambling market has been in good progress since the beginning of 90’s when it was successfully monetized. It is clear that i-gaming has multiple strong points and advantages over conventional brick-and-mortar gambling houses, including greater cost efficiency, bigger returns, and convenience for players.
Virtual gambling constitutes only about 1/10 of the whole casino gaming industry. One of the reasons for that may be the strong lobby that traditional casinos have among politicians and other decision makers, including magnates and the owners of big gambling and entertainment businesses like the American billionaire Sheldon Adelson going above and beyond to ban or restrict Internet gambling and thus do away with the rivalry. Being an owner of $30 billion fortune and the chair of the Las Vegas Sands Corp, a controlling company of several subsidiaries providing casino gaming services, is well renowned for his multiple attempts to sweep away online gambling in the United States.
It’s obvious now BTC and its virtual analogues are capable of slicing a proper piece of the Internet gambling market, taking into account the fact Bitcoin was tailored to suit the needs of Internet users and can offer them a set of unparalleled benefits including payment anonymity and instantaneous transactions. Will it eventually enhance the industry popularity, and use it as a kind of ‘launch pad’ to conquer other areas? The chances are very high.
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