Why Bitcoin Is Helping Esports Betting Explode

By in Esports on
5 Minute Read
Woman Playing Esports Bitcoin

Esports is in a period of rapid growth. It’s gone from being confined to a small niche to drawing hundreds of millions of viewers at each event.

Unsurprisingly, esports betting has grown right alongside competitive gaming. Online sportsbooks and betting sites now commonly offer esports lines.

Aside from industry growth, Bitcoin is one of the biggest drivers of esports gambling’s success. This cryptocurrency is helping connect the masses with esportsbooks.

I’ll explain why Bitcoin (BTC) is so important by covering the online betting legal situation and how BTC helps esports gamblers bypass these problems.

The Legal Situation With Esports Betting

The legality of esports gambling differs greatly from country to country and even state to state. The US, in particular, presents one of the most complex stances on the matter.

In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This monumental decision gives states the ability to decide if they want to legalize sports betting.

Considering that esports gambling is very similar to sports wagering, many states decide on both activities simultaneously.

The majority of states that feature legal sports betting also approve of esports wagering. But these same states, such as New Jersey, stipulate that betting can only take place on matches where all competitors are at least 18 years of age.

Indiana has legalized sports gambling but banned esports betting. Hoosier State politicians don’t like how some match participants are minors.

The majority of the US still treats sports wagering as a gray area. And most have no stance for or against the matter. But the situation is changing rapidly as the days go by.

These “in-between” states are often served by offshore betting sites that operate in locations like Antigua and Costa Rica. Offshore sportsbooks aren’t technically breaking any laws by offering esports and sports gambling to most states.

However, the same sports gambling sites must deal with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Passed in 2006, this legislation prohibits gambling sites from accepting money where doing so is illegal.

Technically, sportsbooks can accept deposits from states that haven’t explicitly outlawed online gambling. But most banks and payment processors reject such transactions due to the unclear legality of the situation.

Offshore gambling operations still accept Visa and Mastercard. However, the banks issuing these cards can still block any transactions they deem questionable.

Bitcoin Helps You Place Legal Esports Bets Without Hassle

You can see the problem that gamblers and sports betting sites have with connecting. Even in states that have no stance on online gambling, esportsbook deposits can be rejected by banks.

Bitcoin offers a way around this situation. BTC is decentralized, meaning it’s not controlled by a bank, e-wallet, government, or any other third party.

You don’t have to worry about a Bitcoin gambling deposit being blocked. “Miners” approve BTC deposits, and they never vet the nature of such transactions.

As long as your state or country hasn’t outlawed esports betting, then you’re not breaking any laws by depositing with Bitcoin. Instead, you’re just using a convenient way to get around restrictive banking laws.

What Other Advantages Does Bitcoin Offer?

Bitcoin is a tremendous help if you’re dealing with the UIGEA or similar laws. But decentralization isn’t the only advantage to BTC. This famous cryptocurrency also offers the following benefits.

Faster Than Certain Payment Methods

Bitcoin may not be fast as major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard. After all, transactions with these cards are processed in milliseconds.

However, Bitcoin is quicker than certain other payment methods, such as bank transfers and wire transfers. The latter two options require you to visit a bank or agent to process your transaction.

BTC carries no such requirements. Instead, you can quickly initiate deposits at sports betting sites through your smartphone or computer.

In most cases, you’ll only wait around 30 minutes for your deposit to be completed. Again, this wait time isn’t as fast as credit cards, but it’s still quick in the grand scheme of things.

Low Transaction Fees

The fees that you pay miners to process your Bitcoin betting deposits vary based on how quickly you want the transaction completed.

You can pay miners a higher fee to process your deposit faster. Or you can simply cover a smaller fee if you’re okay with waiting longer.

I recommend the latter as long as you’re not in a hurry. Going this route lets you place deposits and withdrawals rather cheaply.

Relative Anonymity

Several years ago, many people believed that Bitcoin offered complete anonymity. As evidenced by the Silk Road bust, this belief is false.

However, BTC does let you make esports gambling deposits with much more anonymity than traditional banking options.

Bitcoin miners don’t send you a bank or credit card statement at the end of the month. You also don’t need to worry about your name being all over transactions.

Instead, you’re simply identified by a wallet address. As long as no one traces you to the wallet address, then you can make betting deposits without anybody knowing.

BTC Eventually Becomes Easy to Use

If you’ve never used Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies before, then you might be nervous about doing so. However, you’ll find that BTC is just as user-friendly once you get the hang of it. The easiest place to start is with purchasing Bitcoin on an exchange.

Several exchanges, like Coinbase, Gemini, and Kraken, let you buy BTC with US dollars. After purchasing your Bitcoin, you can either keep it on an exchange or open a wallet and send it there.

The latter is recommended because a wallet gives you complete control over your crypto. But exchanges offer a more convenient route if you’re just depositing and withdrawing small amounts of BTC.

Once you have crypto, you can visit the esports betting site of your choice and obtain a wallet address from their banking section. This address represents the recipient field where you send your BTC from either the exchange or wallet.

You may need 15 to 30 minutes to complete your first crypto purchase and betting deposit. However, the process becomes a breeze after the first few times.

Any Downsides to Consider With Bitcoin Betting?

You can clearly see that BTC offers excellent advantages when you’re banking at esports gambling sites. However, you also need to take the following downsides into account before using it.

Network Congestion Causes Fees and Wait Times to Skyrocket

When Bitcoin becomes highly popular, its network slows to a crawl. Miners can’t process transactions fast enough, causing many requests to wait in limbo until the work (computational puzzles) can be completed.

The BTC network doesn’t normally enter such dire straits. However, the bull run of 2017 brought the network to its knees.

If you tried making a BTC deposit during this point, you’d have waited days for your account to be funded. Furthermore, you likely would’ve lost confidence in Bitcoin.

Luckily, network congestion this heavy is rare. But you still need to remember that, unlike credit card networks, BTC can be unreliable.

Price Volatility

The scariest thing about Bitcoin is its volatility. Although this cryptocurrency has remained steady, its price can experience double-digit increases or plunges within hours.

Current Value of Bitcoin

Sometimes, you’ll feel as if you’re dealing with a third-world currency. You might also get nervous when your esports gambling funds are suddenly worth 10% to 20% less all at once.

The good news is that BTC has increased greatly in value over the years. But the massive downswings can hurt your bankroll in the short run.

Learning Curve

As described before, you shouldn’t have tremendous difficulty adapting to Bitcoin. However, you’ll need time to learn how to buy cryptocurrency and send it to an esports betting site.

If you’re already familiar with additional payment options, you may have no interest in messing around with BTC.

Creating a wallet and storing your keys are steps that you don’t have to deal with when using credit cards. Even using a cryptocurrency exchange can be annoying at first.

Will Bitcoin Always Hold a Prominent Spot in Esports Betting?

The main reason why Bitcoin is so popular in esports gambling is due to the laws in certain countries. The US, for example, features the very restrictive UIGEA.

Many banks and e-wallets reject unregulated gambling deposits as a result of the UIGEA. They don’t necessarily have to prohibit such transactions. However, they do so when possible just to avoid potential legal issues.

You’re not breaking any laws just by depositing with BTC at esports betting sites. Everything depends upon the specific laws where you live.

Assuming you live in California, for example, then you can bet on esports without fear. The Golden State doesn’t have any rules for or against online betting.

The main issue you’ll run into involves placing deposits. Your credit card deposits may be blocked, and you won’t be able to use e-wallets.

Bitcoin is the answer in this situation. Its decentralized nature means that it can’t be controlled or rejected by any third party.

BTC has helped the esports wagering industry grow by connecting gamblers with esports betting sites. That said, you may consider Bitcoin if you’re having trouble depositing.

Conclusion

In a perfect world, you’d be able to fund your esports betting account with your favorite banking options. Unfortunately, this scenario isn’t always possible.

The chief problem is that payment processors adhere to local or national laws. They won’t risk their businesses just to process a few gambling deposits.

This doesn’t mean you’re automatically doing anything wrong by placing esports bets. However, your deposits can still be blocked depending on where you live.

BTC is a tremendous aid in getting around such situations. It has helped the esports betting industry thrive by allowing more gamblers to fund their accounts.

You should strongly consider using Bitcoin to deposit at esports betting sites if you’re having trouble with other options. You may have to spend a little time learning how to use BTC. But you’ll find that it’s well worth the effort if you really want to wager on esports.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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