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Is Bitcoin Legal?
In most countries, Bitcoin is entirely legal. When Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, he envisioned a world where digital currency would replace traditional fiat currency. Of course, the banking system in countries around the world wants to either eliminate or control Bitcoin. The closest they can do is try and influence local law and policies regarding Bitcoin.
In most countries, it is legal to buy Bitcoin and hold it. You can also use it for online purchases, and that may include online gambling. However, Bitcoin is not legal in every country.
Where Is Bitcoin Illegal?
Believe it or not, there are some countries where Bitcoin is illegal. Here is a list where it is illegal to hold or trade Bitcoin:
In these countries, there is a complete ban on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As such, you cannot legally gamble at Bitcoin Casinos, at least not in BTC. You can still gamble at them if they accept fiat.
Countries With a Banking Ban on Bitcoin
In most other countries, there’s no question as to Bitcoin gambling legality. However, there may be bans on banking transactions involving Bitcoin. The following countries have a banking ban on Bitcoin:
- Saudi Arabia
In these countries, banks cannot facilitate Bitcoin transactions. This means you will not be able to use your credit card or bank account to make Bitcoin purchases. However, you are not permitted to hold or use Bitcoin for purchases.
Countries Where It Is Illegal To Make Purchases With Bitcoin
Indonesia and Vietnam have odd laws on Bitcoin. You can buy and sell Bitcoin like you would an investment asset. However, it is illegal to use it as a payment tool. As such, you cannot legally use your Bitcoin to deposit at an online casino. That is considered a purchase, and therefore illegal in those countries.
Again, you can still play at BTC casinos using fiat currency. If the casino allows you to convert your fiat into BTC for withdrawal, that would be one potential legal loophole. However, if you’re in Vietnam or Indonesia, consult with your attorney before doing so.
There May Be Tax Implications to Gambling Online
One thing that many people overlook with Bitcoin gambling is taxes. Most people only consider taxes as it pertains to gambling winnings. For example, in Canada, players don’t have to pay income tax on gambling winnings. However, in some countries, using Bitcoin for casino based gambling may complicate matters.
For example, in the United States, people that hold Bitcoin must pay capital gains taxes on the cryptocurrency. If you deposit $20 in Bitcoin onto gambling sites and win $500, you will have to pay capital gains taxes on $480 if you sell that Bitcoin.
In some countries, Bitcoin taxes may have other loopholes. There may be other considerations of gambling that have to be examined as well. If you are concerned about any tax implications regarding Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, it is best to speak with a tax accountant.
Is Bitcoin Gambling Legal in Your Country?
The question of Bitcoin gambling legality boils down to whether online gambling is legal in your country. If online gambling is legal in your country, then Bitcoin online gambling is legal. For example, it is illegal to gamble at online casinos in China, Cuba, France, Iceland, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine.
In the United States, it is illegal for banks to process online gambling payments. However, it is not unlawful to gamble at online casinos that accept Bitcoin as banks are not involved. The exception is in states like New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, where online casino gambling is regulated, and you can only gamble at licensed casinos. In those states, you cannot gamble at Bitcoin online casinos.
What Happens if I Gamble at a Bitcoin Casino Illegally?
While some countries have made it illegal to gamble using digital currency at online Bitcoin casinos, most do not criminalize those that gamble. Instead, lawmakers target the gambling industry and those that operate illegally in their state. PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker are some poker sites that the United States prosecuted back in 2011 in what is referred to as poker’s “Black Friday.”
For the most part, you will not be prosecuted if authorities discover that you’re gambling illegally. However, there may be penalties from casino operators. If you sign up and play at gambling sites in locations where it is not legal to gamble, you risk having that casino lock your account and confiscate your winnings.
There are two easy ways to find out if your online casino accepts Bitcoin transactions from your country. First, try and register for an account. Most legitimate casinos automatically block you from registering for an account. This is based on your computer’s IP address or the address information you enter into the website.
Next, if the website does not block you from registering, contact customer support, and verify that the site accepts US players. Sometimes, this answer can be found in the website’s help section, but a customer support agent can quickly confirm whether your country is on the site’s prohibited countries list.
How Can I Help Make Bitcoin Gambling Legal in My Country?
If you live in a country where online gaming is not legal, or Bitcoin is not legal, there are some steps you can take. First, you can start by contacting your local lawmakers to ask them to legalize online gambling. Often, politicians do not address topics until their constituents let them know there is a need.
Next, vote for politicians that share your vision for the future. Suppose a politician supports sports betting and online gambling. They are more likely to vote in favor of casino regulation. This often results in online gambling regulation.
Talk to your friends and other people about Bitcoin’s positive benefits and online gambling in your country. The more people you can get in support of your cause, the more the message will grow.
Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix to Bitcoin gambling legality. While we all would like to make Bitcoin gambling legal, it is often a slow process that takes hard work. In the meantime, follow your local laws regarding Bitcoin gambling until a time where BTC gambling is legal.