Legal online gambling and cryptocurrencies, what exactly is it?

Online gambling has recently been legalized in the Netherlands. The Gambling Authority (KSA) immediately drew up several guidelines and requirements to protect Dutch players from abuses possible in other countries (despite regulations). For example, there are clear rules regarding the KYC (Know Your Customer) policy and the bonuses have been limited so that everything is done in a safe, responsible and reliable way while playing at an online casino.

So what about cryptocurrencies, which are a gray area where anonymity, an aversion to KSA, is the main motto? For example, can you make a deposit with Bitcoin in a legal Dutch casino?

Can you legally play online with cryptocurrencies?

Before we look at legal online gambling with cryptocurrencies, let’s take a trip to the blockchain coins themselves. After all, legal online gambling requires a recognized, supported and approved way of depositing money.

We immediately see a problem with cryptocurrencies. They are not banned or restricted in most countries, but at the same time they are not a recognized and supported payment method. This, of course, has everything to do with the decentralized nature of blockchain. There is simply no owner that can be verified or licensed. Supporters of the adaptation of cryptocurrencies also blame the lack of support for banks and governments not being able to earn anything from the digital coins. However, the anonymous nature of both payer and recipient is also a stumbling block.

Although a transaction on the blockchain cannot be undone (it is locked in the code), traceability of the payment is virtually impossible.

The rules per country or licensor should be looked at

Since there is no clear answer, we have to look at a smaller level. It is possible to look at individual countries, but here it is more interesting to look at the licensors, because they largely determine how legal an online casino is. Then comes to mind that the Gambling Commission (licenser from the UK) has issued licenses to casinos that actually offer cryptocurrencies as a deposit method. Licenses from Curaçao are also issued to cryptocasinos, although this license is often considered subordinate in the absence of stricter regulations and compliance checks.

What exactly is the situation in the Netherlands?

The fact that licenses are issued from the UK in no way means that cryptocasinos also exist in the Netherlands. On the contrary: A casino can only legally offer services in the Netherlands if it has a license from the Gambling Authority, and many casinos do not yet possess the coveted KSA license. What exactly is the situation in the Netherlands?

The short answer is simple: legal casinos (ie with a KSA license) are not allowed to offer cryptocurrencies as a method of depositing or withdrawing money. This has to do with the volatility of the coins, the anonymous nature that KSA strongly opposes, and the fact that Bitcoin and altcoins are not yet considered a means of payment in the Netherlands. Since the digital coins are not banned in the Netherlands at the same time, there is a way to still deposit money with cryptocurrencies in a casino with a small detour without breaking the rules.

Legal deposit with cryptocurrencies via a detour in the Dutch casino

Imagine you have found the best mobile casino and can start playing legally there, but cryptocurrencies are not offered as a deposit method. Then you open an e-wallet (with Skrill, Neteller or MuchBetter), where you deposit cryptocurrency from your online or offline cryptocurrency wallet. You then convert these into dollars or euros in the wallet itself, which you can deposit in the casino.

Please note: under no circumstances choose PayPal when you want to deposit at a Dutch legal online casino. This wallet is not supported, which means you cannot use PayPal to make deposits.

Another point is that you pay a lot to convert the cryptocurrency into an online wallet. It may be wiser to do this via an exchange (cryptocurrency to fiat money).

Can I legally play with cryptocurrencies in the Netherlands this way?

In fact, this detour ensures that you are not playing with cryptocurrencies anyway, as you first exchange the digital coins for ‘normal money’ such as Euros. Thanks to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism, it is assumed that games with cryptocurrencies will not be offered in the online casino for the foreseeable future. The anonymous nature is contrary to the ideas of the Dutch government and the KSA. Even when you verify the depositor, there are questions as the origin of the digital coins cannot be traced.

Can you play in cryptocurrency casinos?

The Maltese licensor is working on an overall network of rules and controls to see if legitimate casinos under the license can accept deposits and withdrawals using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The British licensor is already working on accepting the digital coins, as is the government of Curaçao (although it has never been so strict with regulations and compliance). The number of casinos where you can already make deposits with cryptocurrencies is large. As none of these providers have a license from the Gambling Authority and you cannot legally play here, it is wise to check the casino’s license(s) and reliability beforehand before making a deposit.

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