Using Bitcoin to Deposit and Withdraw at Casinos

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It's natural if you hit a jackpot with your cryptocurrency investment to double down on those wins at a casino. However, questions of jurisdiction and legality make exchanging your bitcoin for chips harder for bricks-and-mortar casinos than for online virtual destinations.

Funding a Physical Casino Account

Most casinos based in the United States or administered by U.S.-based operators don't allow direct funding of player accounts through virtual currencies. Most of this hesitation stems from U.S. policy that bitcoin and related cryptocurrencies aren't actual currencies but rather forms of investment. In fact, in 2019, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin even labeled cryptocurrencies as "national security threats."

If you're in the US, your solution is to withdraw your Bitcoin to your bank account, then use your bank account to pay the casino with U.S. currency. Until U.S. Treasury policy changes, there's no other lawful way to use crypto with American-based gambling operators. You don't get the benefit of anonymity but -- after completing an extra step -- you do get to spend your wallet.

If you're located elsewhere, the rules and regulations will differ by country. The EU, for example, is much stricter than some Asian properties. It pays to talk to your host to see if you're visiting a cryptocurrency casino or someplace more conservative about funding. Most places open to alternative funding sources will be open, at a minimum, to Bitcoin.

Funding a Virtual Casino Wallet

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Online gambling sites not based or managed in the United States aren't sensitive to U.S. Treasury pressures. Thus, you've got better odds of gambling directly with your Bitcoin stash or your crypto wallet with these gaming platforms.

Generally, an online casino that supports funding through cryptocurrencies also supports payouts, although it's worth checking the fine print to verify your mechanism of withdrawal. Some operators may send paper checks or wire transfers, requiring your full contact information, as a barrier to induce you to just spend down your wallet rather than to withdraw a small amount of winnings.

Given the way crypto works, funds transferred wallet-to-wallet are generally immediately available for use. Check the site's terms-and-conditions to verify how a given unit of crypto converts to "chips" or "credits" available for use within the site.

Cryptocurrency Options for Casinos

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It's still the case that Bitcoin reigns king over other cryptocurrencies. Other popular options -- including Ethereum, Litecoin and Dogecoin -- may be withdrawable at the level of a digital wallet, but availability is hit-or-miss.

Each site follows its own procedures, but overall, it matters whether you fund your account with your bitcoin or whether you connect an independent wallet to your account. A cryptocurrency casino that enjoys access to your wallet, versus one that accepts specific individual funds, may present a more significant security risk to your investment.

Exercise some caution with these online casinos, though. Operators outside the reach of U.S. or E.U. law, particularly ones with dodgy interfaces and obscure names, ought to raise red flags. If the site looks like it was designed by the guy who wrote your last Nigerian Prince email appeal, you'd be well-advised to seek alternatives.