Updated: March 10, 2021

Are Crypto Casinos Legal? The Regulatory Challenges Of Blockchain Casinos

One of humankind’s oldest activities, gambling has existed, in some form or other, since the dawn of time. Online gambling, however, is a relatively new product, and so are cryptocurrencies.

It is, therefore, unsurprising that the general public and governments still treat blockchain gambling as a novelty. And while gambling itself is almost always regulated, blockchain casinos are often not.

So, are crypto casinos legal?

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this question.

It depends on where you live. In countries where online gambling is illegal, there is a seemingly clear answer: no. However, even in this purportedly straightforward scenario, it’s not all black-and-white.

In many countries where gambling is illegal, ‘cryptocurrencies’ are not seen as a legal form of tender. Betting or playing casino games with coins such as Bitcoin may not be considered gambling because you’re not playing for ‘legal’ money.

Due to the legislation loophole explained above, some believe that crypto casinos don’t need gambling licenses.

This may be the case in several territories: strictly speaking, both online gambling and cryptocurrencies are in a legal grey-area in unregulated markets. In such places, there are simply no local gambling licenses the casinos could apply for.

To fill in the gap, some governments offer ‘international’ gambling licenses, such as:

  • Curaçao gambling licenses
  • MGA (Malta Gambling Authority) licenses

The licensing bodies oversee the casinos and ensure they keep the customers’ best interests at heart. While these international licenses do not overrule local legislation, they still protect players.

At an unlicensed casino, crypto or otherwise, no entity validates game fairness or advocates for your rights if you suspect foul-play on the casino’s part.

Therefore, even if casinos are not required to hold a gambling license in some countries, you should always play at licensed casinos when you have the chance.

Because the United States is a federation of states, each with its own laws about gambling, the answer depends on where you live.

The following states allow some form of online gambling:

  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania
  • Oregon
  • West Virginia
  • Rhode Island
  • Indiana

Do keep in mind that not all forms of gambling are allowed in all the states above.

Bitcoin is considered a legal currency in the United States. However, online gambling with cryptocurrencies is not legislated, leaving it in somewhat of a grey area.

For this reason, many cryptocurrency casinos choose not to accept players from the United States, regardless of where they live. Those who do (such as the ones from the list below) may not offer their services in all 50 states.

The following casinos and gambling Dapps accept players from the United States:

BetFury
betfury.io

About BetFury

BetFury casino is an ambitious gambling Dapp that tries to prove you can have it all: a provably fair, transparent Dapp AND an engaging casino with thousands of slot machines and table games from all the best providers. For the most part, it’s mission accomplished, although not without compromise. For instance, BetFury might not have a welcome bonus, but its daily free faucet, regular bonuses, and shared dividends are just as enticing.

Overview

Websitebetfury.io

Established 2019

License

Bonus

Wagering Deposit

No Deposit Bonus Free faucet

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.0

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 4/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 4/5

Payment Options 3/5

Customer Support 5/5

Unikrn
unikrn.com

About Unikrn

Established in 2014, Unikrn is a blockchain sports betting platform focused on esports. Its promising concept has convinced household names like Ashton Kutcher and Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban to invest in it. It’s now a thriving business, offering innovative betting and casino products to a young and demanding audience. Besides more traditional gambling options, you can also find several esports challenges where you can even bet on yourself.

Overview

Websiteunikrn.com

Established 2014

License Isle of Man

Bonus $300 + 300 Free Spins

Wagering Requirement 45x

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat

Rating

3.7

Bonuses 5/5

Look & Feel 3/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 2/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 4/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.3/5

Nitrogen Sports
nitrogensports.eu

About Nitrogen Sports

A sports betting platform at its core, Nitrogen Sports does offer a Bitcoin casino with a modest selection of provably fair games and live poker. But it’s not for the games themselves that it stands out from the rest. Instead, anonymity is at the forefront of the player experience. There is no KYC process, and you won’t even need to give your name to open an account.

Overview

Websitenitrogensports.eu

Established 2013

License

Bonus

Wagering Requirement

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat No

Rating

3.0

Bonuses 2/5

Look & Feel 2/5

Licensing & Safety 3/5

Game Selection 3/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 4/5

Crypto Thrills
cryptothrills.io

About Crypto Thrills

All punters are welcome at Crypto Thrills, a cosmopolitan cryptocurrency casino where nobody is ever left out – as long as they’re old enough to play! Experience this casino’s unique games and take part in plenty of promotions with rewarding prizes. But every rose has its thorns, and, in Crypto Thrills’ case, they are quite prickly: the lack of a license, known game providers, and its newcomer-status stop us from recommending it… at least for now.

Overview

Websitecryptothrills.io

Established 2019

License

Bonus 1 BTC

Wagering Requirement 60x

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

2.2

Bonuses 3/5

Look & Feel 3/5

Licensing & Safety 1/5

Game Selection 2/5

Payment Options 2/5

Customer Support 2/5

As one of the few countries to specifically license cryptocurrency casinos, the United Kingdom is a heavily regulated online gambling market.

Although blockchain casinos are allowed, the UKGC (or United Kingdom Gambling Commission) warns customers about the risks of gambling with cryptocurrencies.

Anti-fraud and anti-money laundering are two of the largest concerns for the UKGC. They are particularly skeptical of more anonymity-minded cryptocurrencies, especially privacy coins such as Monero or ZCash.

For this reason, customers looking for anonymous online gambling websites in the UK are out of luck: licensed crypto casinos and mainstream casinos alike must perform customer verification checks requesting information such as yearly income and source of funds.

As such, blockchain casinos often exclude UK players from their website. 

Some (unlicensed) overseas casinos that don’t require registration or player verification, however, accept UK players:

BetFury
betfury.io

About BetFury

BetFury casino is an ambitious gambling Dapp that tries to prove you can have it all: a provably fair, transparent Dapp AND an engaging casino with thousands of slot machines and table games from all the best providers. For the most part, it’s mission accomplished, although not without compromise. For instance, BetFury might not have a welcome bonus, but its daily free faucet, regular bonuses, and shared dividends are just as enticing.

Overview

Websitebetfury.io

Established 2019

License

Bonus

Wagering Deposit

No Deposit Bonus Free faucet

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.0

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 4/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 4/5

Payment Options 3/5

Customer Support 5/5

Unikrn
unikrn.com

About Unikrn

Established in 2014, Unikrn is a blockchain sports betting platform focused on esports. Its promising concept has convinced household names like Ashton Kutcher and Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban to invest in it. It’s now a thriving business, offering innovative betting and casino products to a young and demanding audience. Besides more traditional gambling options, you can also find several esports challenges where you can even bet on yourself.

Overview

Websiteunikrn.com

Established 2014

License Isle of Man

Bonus $300 + 300 Free Spins

Wagering Requirement 45x

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat

Rating

3.7

Bonuses 5/5

Look & Feel 3/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 2/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 4/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.3/5

Crypto Thrills
cryptothrills.io

About Crypto Thrills

All punters are welcome at Crypto Thrills, a cosmopolitan cryptocurrency casino where nobody is ever left out – as long as they’re old enough to play! Experience this casino’s unique games and take part in plenty of promotions with rewarding prizes. But every rose has its thorns, and, in Crypto Thrills’ case, they are quite prickly: the lack of a license, known game providers, and its newcomer-status stop us from recommending it… at least for now.

Overview

Websitecryptothrills.io

Established 2019

License

Bonus 1 BTC

Wagering Requirement 60x

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

2.2

Bonuses 3/5

Look & Feel 3/5

Licensing & Safety 1/5

Game Selection 2/5

Payment Options 2/5

Customer Support 2/5

Just like the United States, Canada is a federal country. Consequently, legislation changes from province to province.

There is a federal law regulating the use of Bitcoin as a currency. In fact, Canada was one of the first countries to regulate it, which is good news for Bitcoin users – the regulation gave legitimacy to BTC and other cryptocurrencies.

Online gambling is also regulated on a federal level, with online casinos requiring a local license to operate in Canada.

However, several overseas blockchain casinos are open to Canadian players:

BitStarz
bitstarz.com

About BitStarz

Unlike some run-of-the-mill gambling sites out there, BitStarz offers a complete playing experience. Arguably one of the best Bitcoin casinos overall, it includes a vast selection of games from all the top providers, and it’s full of mouth-watering promotions. It asks you to “Dream big, win bigger,” and it lives up to this ambitious slogan with accolades such as the Best Online Casino Award (2018) and the Player’s Choice Award (2019). However, any casino with a large player base is not without its detractors, which is why we took a closer look at this popular brand.

Overview

Websitebitstarz.com

Established 2014

License Curaçao

Bonus 5 BTC + 180 Free Spins

Wagering Requirement 40x

No Deposit Bonus 20 Free Spins

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.8

Bonuses 5/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 5/5

Game Selection 5/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.8/5

Stake Casino
stake.com

About Stake Casino

Stake is more than just a Bitcoin casino. It’s got hundreds of odds on all the best sports, a fresh look, modern games (including a few exclusives), a top-notch VIP program, and no welcome bonus. That’s right: you won’t find a welcome pack at Stake, but you won’t miss it. With provably fair games across the board, a fully disclosed house edge, and a wide array of rewarding promotions, you’ll know exactly what’s in store for you from the get-go. All in all, Stake is a casino where transparency is paramount.

Overview

Websitestake.com

Established 2017

License Curaçao

Bonus

Wagering Requirement

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.8

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 5/5

Game Selection 5/5

Payment Options 5/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 4.5/5

True Flip
trueflip.io

About True Flip

True Flip is a unique blockchain casino. Besides its very own cryptocurrency, it offers original games developed by its own game studio. On top of these exclusive features, True Flip has over 1600 games from some of the world’s biggest brands, which you can play with a large selection of fiat money and cryptos. This is an impressive brand, although it could be improved with the addition of provably fair games and a VIP program.

Overview

Websitetrueflip.io

Established 2017

License Curaçao

Bonus 1 BTC + 150 Free Spins

Wagering Requirement 35x

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.5

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 4/5

Payment Options 5/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.5/5

Cloudbet
cloudbet.com

About Cloudbet

Having been around since 2013, Cloudbet is one of the oldest blockchain casinos. Following its establishment, it has grown into one of the leading Bitcoin casino platforms, even though you can now play and deposit with several other cryptos. It’s a very newcomer-friendly website, even offering a blog to introduce you to the world of Bitcoin gambling. Fans of sports can also join the fun: there is a comprehensive sportsbook product.

Overview

Websitecloudbet.com

Established 2013

License Curaçao

Bonus 5 BTC

Wagering Requirement 800 loyalty points per 0.01 BTC

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.5

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 5/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.9/5

About mBit

Backed by a mother company that owns 35 casinos, mBit has all the tools needed to offer you the best Bitcoin casino experience. Its thousands of available games will thrill you while you race to win daily prizes. There are so many different promotions and rewards, it’s hard to keep up! And we have to shout out to its VIP program, which is one of the most engaging we’ve seen. However, a few influential studios are missing, and you can’t play with fiat currencies.

Overview

Websitembitcasino.com

Established 2014

License Curaçao

Bonus 5 BTC + 300 Free spins

Wagering Requirement 35x

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.5

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 5/5

Game Selection 4/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 4/5

Australia is an interesting country when it comes to online gambling, with contradicting legislation.

For instance, companies are not allowed to advertise or provide online gambling in Australia. However, the Australian government also states that the law does not target Australian players themselves.

As such, Australians can gamble online – and there are many international online casinos and sports betting websites for them.

Since the Australian government has regulated cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin back in 2013, there is no shortage of crypto casinos accepting Australian players:

BitStarz
bitstarz.com

About BitStarz

Unlike some run-of-the-mill gambling sites out there, BitStarz offers a complete playing experience. Arguably one of the best Bitcoin casinos overall, it includes a vast selection of games from all the top providers, and it’s full of mouth-watering promotions. It asks you to “Dream big, win bigger,” and it lives up to this ambitious slogan with accolades such as the Best Online Casino Award (2018) and the Player’s Choice Award (2019). However, any casino with a large player base is not without its detractors, which is why we took a closer look at this popular brand.

Overview

Websitebitstarz.com

Established 2014

License Curaçao

Bonus 5 BTC + 180 Free Spins

Wagering Requirement 40x

No Deposit Bonus 20 Free Spins

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.8

Bonuses 5/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 5/5

Game Selection 5/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.8/5

Bao Casino
baocasino.com

About Bao Casino

An impressive game portfolio with more than 2,000 ‘Freaking Awesome Games’ is at Bao Casino’s core. Expect all kinds of slot machines and live casino games from the best providers, alongside cheeky provably fair titles. But there’s more than meets the eye at this cosmopolitan-yet-welcoming casino, including a no-fee policy for cryptocurrency withdrawals and plenty of juicy promotions.

Overview

Websitebaocasino.com

Established 2019

License Curaçao

Bonus 1 BTC + 100 free spins

Wagering Requirement 40x (30x for free spins)

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.2

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 4/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 4/5

Cloudbet
cloudbet.com

About Cloudbet

Having been around since 2013, Cloudbet is one of the oldest blockchain casinos. Following its establishment, it has grown into one of the leading Bitcoin casino platforms, even though you can now play and deposit with several other cryptos. It’s a very newcomer-friendly website, even offering a blog to introduce you to the world of Bitcoin gambling. Fans of sports can also join the fun: there is a comprehensive sportsbook product.

Overview

Websitecloudbet.com

Established 2013

License Curaçao

Bonus 5 BTC

Wagering Requirement 800 loyalty points per 0.01 BTC

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.5

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 5/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.9/5

King Billy Casino
kingbillycasino.com

About King Billy Casino

Get your crown ready, because playing at King Billy Casino can get you a royal title! While playing your favorite games from powerhouses like NetEnt, you can accumulate points and grow your own kingdom. This medieval feel marries surprisingly well with blockchain technology: you can gamble with Ethereum, Bitcoin, and more to earn your royal mantle.

Overview

Websitekingbillycasino.com

Established 2017

License Curaçao

Bonus 5 BTC + 200 Free Spins

Wagering Requirement 30x

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.3

Bonuses 5/5

Look & Feel 4/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 4/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.5/5

FortuneJack
fortunejack.com

About FortuneJack

Forget USD, EUR, or any other fiat currencies: at Fortunejack, you can only play with cryptocurrencies. However, this casino isn’t just for hardcore Bitcoin gamblers. With a large selection of games from all the top providers, a few hidden gems, and Fortunejack’s no deposit welcome bonus, it pleases newcomers and seasoned gamers alike. Whether you’re looking for fortune or just a lot of fun, this jack-of-all-trades should be on your radar.

Overview

Websitefortunejack.com

Established 2014

License Curaçao

Bonus 6 BTC

Wagering Requirement 30x

No Deposit Bonus 50 Free Spins

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.2

Bonuses 5/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 4/5

Payment Options 3/5

Customer Support 4/5

Сustomer Reviews 4/5

Just like the United States, Germany has federal and regional laws when it comes to online gambling.

The country has recently started enforcing stricter rules on online gambling operators. For instance, table games like roulette and blackjack are now forbidden, and only locally licensed casinos are legal.

Similarly to Australia, while German companies can’t offer casino games in Germany, German citizens can gamble online at international casinos. Do note that, while allowed, this is not strictly legal.

Using cryptocurrencies is legal and regulated in the country, but they are not considered to be money. Instead, currencies such as Bitcoin are classified as financial instruments.

At the moment, several overseas blockchain casinos offer services to german customers, namely:

BitStarz
bitstarz.com

About BitStarz

Unlike some run-of-the-mill gambling sites out there, BitStarz offers a complete playing experience. Arguably one of the best Bitcoin casinos overall, it includes a vast selection of games from all the top providers, and it’s full of mouth-watering promotions. It asks you to “Dream big, win bigger,” and it lives up to this ambitious slogan with accolades such as the Best Online Casino Award (2018) and the Player’s Choice Award (2019). However, any casino with a large player base is not without its detractors, which is why we took a closer look at this popular brand.

Overview

Websitebitstarz.com

Established 2014

License Curaçao

Bonus 5 BTC + 180 Free Spins

Wagering Requirement 40x

No Deposit Bonus 20 Free Spins

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.8

Bonuses 5/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 5/5

Game Selection 5/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.8/5

Stake Casino
stake.com

About Stake Casino

Stake is more than just a Bitcoin casino. It’s got hundreds of odds on all the best sports, a fresh look, modern games (including a few exclusives), a top-notch VIP program, and no welcome bonus. That’s right: you won’t find a welcome pack at Stake, but you won’t miss it. With provably fair games across the board, a fully disclosed house edge, and a wide array of rewarding promotions, you’ll know exactly what’s in store for you from the get-go. All in all, Stake is a casino where transparency is paramount.

Overview

Websitestake.com

Established 2017

License Curaçao

Bonus

Wagering Requirement

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.8

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 5/5

Game Selection 5/5

Payment Options 5/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 4.5/5

True Flip
trueflip.io

About True Flip

True Flip is a unique blockchain casino. Besides its very own cryptocurrency, it offers original games developed by its own game studio. On top of these exclusive features, True Flip has over 1600 games from some of the world’s biggest brands, which you can play with a large selection of fiat money and cryptos. This is an impressive brand, although it could be improved with the addition of provably fair games and a VIP program.

Overview

Websitetrueflip.io

Established 2017

License Curaçao

Bonus 1 BTC + 150 Free Spins

Wagering Requirement 35x

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.5

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 4/5

Payment Options 5/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.5/5

Cloudbet
cloudbet.com

About Cloudbet

Having been around since 2013, Cloudbet is one of the oldest blockchain casinos. Following its establishment, it has grown into one of the leading Bitcoin casino platforms, even though you can now play and deposit with several other cryptos. It’s a very newcomer-friendly website, even offering a blog to introduce you to the world of Bitcoin gambling. Fans of sports can also join the fun: there is a comprehensive sportsbook product.

Overview

Websitecloudbet.com

Established 2013

License Curaçao

Bonus 5 BTC

Wagering Requirement 800 loyalty points per 0.01 BTC

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.5

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 4/5

Game Selection 5/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 3.9/5

About mBit

Backed by a mother company that owns 35 casinos, mBit has all the tools needed to offer you the best Bitcoin casino experience. Its thousands of available games will thrill you while you race to win daily prizes. There are so many different promotions and rewards, it’s hard to keep up! And we have to shout out to its VIP program, which is one of the most engaging we’ve seen. However, a few influential studios are missing, and you can’t play with fiat currencies.

Overview

Websitembitcasino.com

Established 2014

License Curaçao

Bonus 5 BTC + 300 Free spins

Wagering Requirement 35x

No Deposit Bonus

Live Chat Yes

Rating

4.5

Bonuses 4/5

Look & Feel 5/5

Licensing & Safety 5/5

Game Selection 4/5

Payment Options 4/5

Customer Support 5/5

Сustomer Reviews 4/5

When cryptocurrencies first emerged, many were those that dismissed them:

  • Some thought they would be a temporary trend in the world of tech.
  • Many saw them as nothing more than an interesting financial experience.
  • Others thought they were suitable only for criminals and conspiracy-theory enthusiasts.
  • Misconceptions such as Bitcoin being 100% anonymous were – and, in many ways, still are – widespread.
  • Constant value fluctuations, de-regulation, and decentralization were unpalatable for legislators.

As time went by, governments and official institutions became aware of the advantages and liabilities of cryptocurrencies. Consequently, they pushed for more control and regulation over them.

This legislation effort was arguably driven by the fact that public perceptions about cryptocurrencies are changing:

  • Bitcoin is now widely regarded as the transparent currency it was created to be, with all transactions publicly verifiable and traceable.
  • More and more payment providers – such as the widely-popular PayPal – are now accepting crypto transactions. With PayPal, players can now indirectly pay with cryptocurrencies at casinos supporting this platform.
  • Institutions such as the European Central Bank have recently shown an openness to digital currencies. Although it’s still too early to tell if this openness will materialize into a more widespread acceptance, it is a positive sign.

What About Blockchain Casinos?

Blockchain casinos are about more than just gambling with cryptocurrencies.

Practical applications of blockchain technology such as provably fair games and blockchain casino RNG can disrupt the iGaming industry as a whole in a player-favorable way.

However, the same liabilities that give pause to financial legislators looking to regulate cryptocurrencies apply to blockchain casinos.

  • Online casinos themselves are already at risk of fraud and money laundering. When cryptocurrencies are added to the mix, the risk is increased.
  • Anonymous and decentralized gambling can be a magnet for those seeking to break the law without consequences.

Therefore, the need for institutional control is understandable. In time, it could also be a sign that blockchain casinos are thriving and, indeed, here to stay: if regulators are watching and acting, it’s because crypto casinos are relevant.

  1. Very few countries regulate cryptocurrency gambling directly. As such, crypto casinos often exist in a legal grey area: they are neither legal nor illegal.
  2. For the most part, if gambling is legal in your country, so is cryptocurrency gambling. The same logic applies to countries where online gambling is restricted or forbidden.
  3. Governments often choose to disallow companies from offering gambling services without taking measures against players themselves.
  4. Many casinos apply for ‘international’ gambling licenses, which allow them to operate in unregulated (and even in some regulated) markets.
  5. For the most part, regulated markets and gambling commissions (such as the UKGC) are wary of cryptocurrencies, especially when it comes to privacy and anonymity.
  6. However, more and more consumers are becoming aware of the benefits of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency payments, forcing legislators to pay attention to blockchain casinos.