Cryptocurrency has become a major force in the online gambling industry, with crypto-backed casinos and sports betting websites gaining popularity. However, this form of gambling remains controversial and unregulated, posing various risks for players.
Crypto gambling involves using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Tether to play real-money casino games or place sports bets instead of traditional fiat currencies. Proponents of crypto gambling tout its benefits, including anonymity, security, speed, and privacy. The industry has seen significant growth, with the global gambling market generating $61.5 billion in 2021 and projections estimating a rise to $93 billion in 2023 and up to $114.4 billion by 2028.
However, the unregulated nature of crypto gambling presents several downsides for both players and the industry. One major issue is the promotion of unregulated gambling, as crypto gambling is not regulated in the Northern hemisphere. This means that consumers must opt for unlicensed or Curacao e-Gaming licensed casinos to access this form of gambling, potentially exposing them to untested and uncertified games and software.
Furthermore, unregulated gambling sites lack player protection in terms of responsible gambling and financial accountability. The lack of regulation at crypto sites has become a selling point for some operators, emphasizing anonymity and lack of registration checks while claiming to guarantee player safety.
Another risk for players is the exposure to market price volatility when gambling with crypto, which can lead to significant losses in the event of a crypto crash. The recent crash in the crypto market has led to billions in losses for low-level investors, highlighting the instability of using cryptocurrencies for gambling.
In response to the myriad of issues associated with unregulated crypto gambling, even streaming platform Twitch has implemented a de-facto ban on crypto gambling sites, aiming to remove them from its platform.
While crypto gambling offers benefits such as privacy and potential value increase, it also comes with significant risks, including lack of regulation, potential for financial losses, and exposure to untested games and software. Players should carefully consider these factors before engaging in crypto gambling.