Most sports betting and gambling sites now accept crypto-currencies (namely bitcoin) as a preferred deposit method. In fact, many sites will offer higher welcome and reload bonuses to bitcoin depositors versus traditional credit and debit card depositors.
If you’re currently using your credit or debit card to deposit funds directly into your gambling account, then I highly recommend that you start using a bitcoin exchange as soon as possible.
Why Sports Betting Sites Love Bitcoin Depositors
It’s no secret that sports betting operators would much prefer you fund your betting account using bitcoin versus credit or debit card. In fact, they offer significantly higher bonus incentives to their players for making the switch. The reasons are simply:
The bookmaker’s cost to accept bitcoin deposits are a fraction of the cost to accept credit and debit card deposits. Credit card processors will charge anywhere from 10% to 20% to handle these ‘risky’ transactions, while bitcoin’s cost is less than 1% on the amount deposited.
Credit/debit card chargebacks occur when losing players call their card issuing bank to try and cancel or reverse their original deposit. Unlike credit and debit cards, you can’t chargeback a bitcoin deposit. Operators try and keep their chargeback levels as low as possible, but numbers of 2% or higher are normal.
3. Huge Write-Offs
Since the passing of the 2006 UIEGA bill in the United States which prohibits U.S. banks from providing processing to gambling businesses, offshore sportsbooks, who want to continue accepting credit cards have had to resort to sketchy processors from countries like China and Mexico that often simply abscond with the operator’s funds. Really, it happens more often than you think, with the operator’s losing millions each time.
Why use a Bitcoin Exchange to Gamble?
1. You Don’t Reveal Your Bank Details to the Bookmaker
You only ever enter your personal details on your chosen exchange and not directly to your bookmaker. This transaction almost always takes place from a secure landing page hosted by your chosen exchange (e.g. Coinbase.com). Therefore your bank details aren’t stored by the third party gambling site.
2. Your Bank Can’t Track Your Gambling Activity
Apart from the deposits to and from your bitcoin exchange, your bank has no log of what gambling sites you’ve been using. There’s no evidence that any of the bitcoin transactions are even gambling related. Exchanges make your online activities anonymous, so your transactions could just as easily be for online shopping.
3. Your Risk is Limited to Your Bitcoin Exchange Balance
In theory your exchange wallet could be compromised like any other online account. But even if someone does manage to illegally access your exchange account, you don’t stand to lose any more than your current balance, which can be kept at a minimum.
On the other hand, if the offender has access to your credit or debit card, then there’s a chance that he will continue to repeatedly spend your money.
4. You Won’t Have Your Transactions Blocked
One of the most frustrating things about online gambling is how often your bank will block your transactions, usually because its coming from an offshore processor. This is something that won’t happen if you use a bitcoin exchange. Your deposits will go through 100% of the time – no hassles! (for even more added security, be sure to regularly change your bitcoin receiving address and even add an intermediary address between your exchange and the bookmaker)
How Bitcoin Exchanges Work
Crypto-currency exchanges are like digital banks that enable users to buy, sell and manage crypto-currencies thus providing a platform to send and receive funds transfers (i.e. deposits and withdrawals) to and from online merchants.
Setting up an account at an exchange is simple and requires just a few personal details and verification steps similar to the steps from setting up a PayPal account.
Once you’ve set up an exchange account you’ll need to fund it. You can do so by linking it to your bank account via a credit or debit card. Alternatively you can process a manual bank transfer. Thus the exchange account can serve as an interface to your bank account, and provides an extra layer of security and privacy. Funds can be sent between your bank account and exchange account whenever needed. Transaction fees and transaction limits usually apply.
Your exchange account can also used for sending money to individuals (“peer-to-peer”). If, for example, your friend wanted to place some bets on the football game this coming Sunday but he’s having trouble getting his credit card unblocked at his bookmaker, then you could lend him bitcoin by transferring it directly to his bitcoin wallet.
Advantages of Using Bitcoin
- Easy to move money back and forth between different betting sites.
- It’s faster to receive payouts than checks or bank wires (often same-day).
- It adds an additional layer of security and privacy.
- They’re not limited to just gambling and can be used to make online purchases with more and more vendors starting to accept bitcoin.
- Deposits and withdrawals to betting sites are free.
- Very generous deposit bonuses from bookmakers.
Disadvantages Using of Bitcoin
- You need to verify your exchange account by completing KYC compliance. This process takes a few days.
- Transfer fees apply if you want to buy bitcoin using your credit or debit card.
- Transaction limits apply and you’ll need to jump through more security ‘hoops’ to increase them.
Best Bitcoin Exchanges
The following two options are the most popular, reputable bitcoin exchanges. I personally wouldn’t consider any others.
Founded in June of 2012, Coinbase is a digital currency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers buy, sell and transfer digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin. Coinbase is a very popular choice for online gambling transactions – it’s trusted and relatively easy to open an account and has 24/7 customer support.
Coinbase has 30+ million users and boasts over $150 billion in balances, making it one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world.
|Deposit Fees||Credit/debit card: 3.99%
SEPA: €0. U.S Bank transfer: 1.49% (US$0.15 min.)
Coinbase USD wallet: 1.49%
ACH Transfer USD: $0
Wire transfer USD: $10
|Withdrawal Fees||SEPA: €0.15
U.S Bank transfer: 1.49% (US$0.15 min.)
Coinbase USD wallet: 1.49%
Wire transfer USD: $25
Coinbase credit/debit card deposits fees are 3.99%. Withdrawal from Coinbase to your U.S. bank account is typically charged a fee of 1.49%, or $25 for a wire transfer. Transferring money between Coinbase accounts (peer-to-peer) is free.
Although the fees might seem high, your Bookmaker will often cover any sending fees you incur. Be sure to ask. You will also more than make up for it on the deposit bonus you receive from your bookmaker for using bitcoin.
Watch Video: Step by Step Guide to Depositing Using Coinbase
Founded in June of 2013, CoinMama is another digital currency wallet and platform where merchants and consumers buy, sell and transfer digital currencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin. Coinmama is a popular choice for online gambling transactions – it’s trusted and relatively easy to open an account and has 24/7 customer support.
CoinMama offers multiple funding methods, including cash, credit/debit card and bank wire.
All credit and debit card deposits into your CoinMama account are charged a 5% fee. Withdrawals from your CoinMama account are free.
As you can see, CoinMama is more expensive than Coinbase when it comes to credit/debit card. But it’s easily the 2nd best option available. Realistically, the fees only become a significant factor if you plan to make a lot of gambling transactions and if your bookmaker won’t reimburse you.
Watch Video: Step by Step Guide to Depositing Using CoinMama
Interested in reading more bitcoin betting articles? Check out: The Growth of Bitcoin in Sports Betting