While the year 2016 has delivered some ups and downs to the bitcoin development, 2017 clearly seems to provide a basis for a good start. Even though most of the people use bitcoins either as a way to pay for goods and services or simply to speculate online, the popularity of gambling with bitcoins increases with a significant speed. Today there are quite a few online casinos that do not simply accept bitcoins as a method of payment, but also provide players’ balances in BTCs.
Within the last four years the amount of the bitcoin casinos became so significant that the regulators have started looking into cryptocurrencies. Last year some great news came out from the UK. All of the offline and online casinos, betting houses and lotteries are regulated by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and, in the middle of 2016, it declared that the bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies are seen as an equivalent of the money. Hence, this way any pure bitcoin casino may apply for the license in the UK.
It is a subject for a separate debate whether bitcoin gambling, or just gambling in general, is a good or a bad activity, however, such a development in the regulation of the companies that have something to do with the bitcoins certainly seems as a great additional to the whole system around the bitcoin. Apart from the obvious advantages of simply bringing the bitcoin under the regulatory umbrella, such updates from the gambling regulator may result in other licensing bodies looking more in the bitcoin’s direction. Besides that, online gambling and betting are very fast growing and over profitable industries. The income generated by the UKGC due to the regulation may be an additional motivator for the other regulators.
Even though things do seem bright in the UK, the European heart of online gambling, Malta, has recently declined to regulate bitcoin gambling operators. This country sees difficulties in regulating cryptocurrencies, preventing money laundering and complying with other procedures required to bring the bitcoins into the white space.
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