The traditional online casino industry is a highly regulated battle ground. Gambling operators are bound by a set of highly stringent legislation, aimed at preventing criminals from abusing their sites. These threats most commonly revolve around fraudulent activity, money laundering and terrorist financing. However, those attempting to conduct illicit methods are in the absolute minority. The result? Increased customer due diligence requirements for all.
Nevertheless, a new breed of online casinos are entering the industry in an attempt to reverse privacy intrusion by specializing exclusively in cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals. This article will discuss how the blockchain revolution has created an opportunity for players to gamble anonymously.
The bad old days
Online casinos, like any industry, are in business to make money. If they were able to allow players to gamble anonymously, subsequently removing the regulatory burdens that they must enforce – they would. However, licensing conditions and home bound regulations do not allow for this, meaning that operators must request vast amount of personal information prior to a new customer to opening an account. This will most commonly consist of a full name, date of birth, and home address, for example. This is stage 1.
It is stage 2 that frustrates players the most. When a withdrawal is requested, the online casino will then ask the player to provide copies of their passport/drivers license, a proof of address and a scan of their credit card. You wouldn’t expect such intrusion if you walked in to your local supermarket to buy your weekly groceries, so why should you have to go through excessive hoops just to be able to gamble with your own money? Well the good news is that you no longer need to!
Regulatory loop holes
So you might be asking how is it possible that crypto casinos do not need to abide by the same set of stringent customer due diligence procedures. Essentially, the fundamental characteristic of cryptocurrency is that governments do not recognise it as ‘real money’. As a result, by accepting digital deposits, online casinos are able to circumvent these regulations and instead allow a player to gamble anonymously. The first and original online casino to do this was Satoshi Dice. The platform was simple in nature, offering players just one game to bet on. However, the unique selling point was that customers did not need to identify themselves. In fact, players did not even have to register an account.
How does anonymous gambling work?
Anonymous crypto casinos have come a long way since the days of Satoshi Dice. There are now online platforms that offer a full suite of games, ranging from slots, blackjack, roulette, and even sports betting. When players originally visit the site, the account opening procedure will most commonly consist of a username and an email. The supply of a name, address and country of residence is not required. This is especially useful for those residing in countries where online gambling is illegal.
The United States is a prime example of this, whereby players are heavily restricted in accessing gambling products. In jurisdictions with even greater levels of prohibition, whereby all gambling websites are outlawed in their entirety, users simply need to use an anonymous browser such as TOR.
When it comes to depositing funds in to your newly created casino account, you will need to deposit with a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). In doing so, your account is normally funded within a few minutes, although some crypto casinos credit an account instantly. Funding your account in such a manner is far more secure than using a debit or credit card, as there is always the risk that malicious actors could get hold of your personal details. It also prevents gambling transactions from appearing on your bank statement, something that players will often want to avoid.
What about withdrawing my winnings?
Anonymous gambling with a crypto casino also extends to the withdrawal of winnings. In the same way that you deposited coins from your external wallet, the casino will simply send your winnings back to your specified address. The biggest advantage here, other than remaining anonymous, is that the funds will be returned significantly quicker in comparison to a traditional fiat casino. As mentioned earlier, prior to receiving your winnings, you need to need to engage in a stringent verification process. However, as you are able to gamble anonymously, winnings are returned in a matter of hours, sometimes minutes!
What does the future hold?
As virtual currency is still in its infancy, there is no telling how governments will respond to crypto casinos in the future. It appears that they have no intention of classifying cryptocurrency in to the same bracket as real-world money, which is good news for those who prefer to gamble anonymously.