In 2021, Grand View Research valued the global sports betting market at $76 billion. However, the Business Research Company now forecasts that by the end of 2022, this sector will have pulled in $99.20 billion for the calendar year. And expectations are that by 2026, it will rake in around $144 billion annually. Hence, to say that this sphere is rapidly growing would be an understatement.
Undoubtedly, the swelling implementation of AI, gambling apps, and blockchain technology in this industry is massively contributing to its rise. Concerning the latter, crypto betting has been a thing for over a decade, but only post-2018 has it exploded, etching closer to achieving a mainstream level of popularity. Today, major international gambling entities like 888 Holdings, The Stars Group, William Hill, Gala Coral, Bet365, Unibet, and Bwin are exploring this area, as Bitcoin sports betting seems to be all the rage.
Below, a quick dive into crypto sportsbook sites gets presented, along with an explanation regarding the security these platforms offer. Answering – are they safe for casual players?
How Is the Global Sports Betting Market Developing
As everyone curious about wagering on sporting events in the US likely knows, this market got liberalized with the repeal of the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a move that allowed US states to pass regulations that govern this pastime. So far, over thirty have done so, and in the past four years following the mentioned monumental occurrence, Americans have bet over $125 billion on sports events.
In the UK, the country’s overall gambling yield was around £14 billion pre-pandemic, dropping in 2020 and 2021 but recovering to £14.7 billion in 2022, marking an 18% jump in betting activities from the previous year. The unique thing about Britain’s gambling industry is that even though its regulator, the UKGC, has a reputation as one of the strictest on the Old Continent, it permitted Bitcoin betting in 2016, proclaiming that virtual currencies are a fiat money equivalent. So, UK bettors now have the option to use local and offshore crypto sportsbook pages.
Sweden is another online gambling trailblazer in Europe, legalizing this practice as far back as 2001. Its licensor, the Swedish Gambling Authority, follows many of the same rules that the UKGC introduces. But while cryptos are legal in Sweden, there is no law pertaining to Bitcoin wagering. The country generates around $2 billion in gambling revenues across all verticals, with sports betting remaining its most dominant, despite a recent decline.
Germany and the Netherlands are two countries that passed laws to oversee internet gaming/betting within their borders in 2021, and many believe that these markets will catch fire almost instantaneously. They incorporate many of the same restrictive practices as Sweden and the UK, such as deposit and max bet caps, mandatory identity verification, and longer withdrawal processing times for specific methods. They do this to protect gamblers from falling prey to their urges. That said, it is due to these measures that many gambling fanatics from these regions opt to use crypto-gambling sites based elsewhere.
Asia gets expected to make massive online sports betting strides in this decade, with Japan leading the way. And in Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are passing internet gambling laws, and their betting industries are starting to expand at a furious pace.
Are Crypto Betting Sites Legit?
In short, yes. A crypto betting platform is nothing more than a site operating from a country that allows companies to run internet gambling operators to manage platforms that access users from various corners of the globe. That means these hubs get licensed and overseen by these territories’ gambling regulators. Examples of a few such entities are eGaming Curacao, Antillephone, and Panama’s Gaming Control Board. These organizations have been in business for a long time. They also follow standard industry rules, promoting responsible betting, and providing anti-addiction features. Nevertheless, some of their bitcoin sportsbook websites may forego Know Your Customer procedures and allow anonymous betting, which is not illegal.
Furthermore, the enticement of internationally-regulated crypto betting pages lies in that these usually deliver better promotions than traditional fiat competitors and offer more niche markets.
It bares pointing out that, as a rule of thumb, all crypto-betting sites will have a restricted country list. It is vital for anyone considering one of these hubs to check the T&C page of their eyed platform before trying to sign up, as they may hail from an unallowed region.
Traditional Sportbooks vs. Crypto Ones
Despite the facts stated in the subheading above, crypto betting sites are not entirely superior to regular fiat ones. The truth is that both categories have their pros and cons, and it is up to individual bettors to weigh these and decide which they prioritize.
The chief positives of traditional sportsbooks are:
- Third-party dispute regulation.
- Coverage of local events.
- Universal self-exclusion.
- Top-end security.
The primary negative of using traditional sportsbooks are:
- Wager limitations.
- Few allowed payment methods.
- Not so generous bonuses.
The main positives of using crypto betting sites are:
- Unique promos.
- Few betting caps.
- The possibility of anonymous gambling.
- Few geo-restrictions.
- Access to casino games from different providers.
- Super-fast withdrawal times.
The top negatives of using a crypto betting site are:
- Unregulated platforms flood the internet.
- No third-party mediation.
- Fewer responsible gambling features.
As discussed, the decision regarding picking a crypto betting hub or a fiat one is ultimately for each consumer to make. To a significant degree, it is a question that depends on what one craves, gambler protection from others and himself or betting freedom. Concerning the latter, crypto sportsbooks are the way to go, as they are far less restrictive. Yet, if one suffers from an impulse control issue, it may be wise to stick to regulated fiat sites that offer stringent and hopefully universal self-exclusion schemes. These will stop such gamblers from implementing any self-harm. Bitcoin betting hubs feature these also, but they are site-specific and not as flexible. It is paramount that this gets factored in by such bettors.