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Global Regulation Roundup: The State of Bitcoin Gambling in 2024

As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to gain traction worldwide, an array of industries have been deeply impacted – and the gambling sector is no exception. This article aims to shed light on the current state of Bitcoin gambling in 2024, with specific attention to the regulations at play across the globe.

The global legislation surrounding Bitcoin, crypto games, and online gaming is an ever-evolving landscape. Due in part to the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies, coupled with their burgeoning popularity, many governments have taken steps to regulate their use – particularly within gambling environments. The aim of these regulatory measures is largely twofold: to safeguard the consumer and to limit illicit activities.

To understand this better, let’s take a regional trip around the globe, discussing the Bitcoin gambling landscape and the respective regulatory oversights in Europe, the United States, Asia, and beyond.

Europe

Home to some of the pioneers in the Internet gambling industry, European countries have widely different approaches to Bitcoin gambling. In the United Kingdom, online Bitcoin gambling is essentially regulated under the same guidelines as conventional online gambling. The UK Gambling Commission treats Bitcoin gambling platforms as ‘private currencies’ and has issued licenses to such platforms [1].

But, a significant change occurred in April 2024 when the European Union issued directives for the member countries to significantly tighten its grip on the use of cryptocurrencies for online gambling. These directives outlined that stricter regulations are to be imposed to ensure transparency and consumer protection [2].

United States

Cryptocurrencies’ legal scenario in the United States remains a complicated subject, bearing in mind that the guidelines can change state by state. Bitcoin gambling is currently allowed in states with legalized online gambling, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, where crypto casinos are needed to follow the same regulations as their online counterparts [3].

However, earlier this year, the Federal Reserve hinted at possibly categorizing cryptocurrencies under a new regime of monetary systems, which could impact online Bitcoin gambling regulation. For the time being, it remains to be seen how these hints might shape future statutes [4].

Asia

The Bitcoin gambling universe in Asia paints a contrasting picture. Japan, a country known for its advanced technological ecosystem, has legalized Bitcoin as a valid payment method – including for online gambling, albeit cryptocurrency casinos are subject to rigorous controls [5].

On the flip side, China, where online gambling is still illegal, has imposed strict bans on cryptocurrencies. This prohibition has led to a proliferation of underground, unregulated online Bitcoin gambling, raising concerns about consumer protection [6].

Rest of the World

In other areas of the globe, governments have shown a mixed approach to Bitcoin gambling. Australia, for example, allows bitcoin gambling – as long as the operators adhere to the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act. Meanwhile, in South Africa, online gambling remains largely prohibited, and the authorities are cautious about cryptocurrencies [7].

The picture is clear: regulators globally have recognized the impact of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies on the online gambling landscape. As 2024 progresses, these authorities continue to grapple with creating frameworks that address the rapid technological advancements, while balancing the need for consumer protection and curtailing illicit activities.

Sources:

[1] “Licence conditions and codes of practice.” UK Gambling Commission.
[2] “2024 EU Cryptocurrency Directives.” European Union Official Journal.
[3] “State Gambling Laws.” Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School.
[4] “Federal Reserve report on ‘Cryptocurrencies and Digital Assets’ ” Federal Reserve, 2024.
[5] “Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds.” Cabinet Office, Government of Japan.
[6] “PRC Law on Cryptocurrencies.” People’s Republic of China.
[7] “The National Gambling Act 2004, South Africa.” Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, South Africa

Written by
Manish Kumar
A seasoned financial correspondent with a keen focus on cryptocurrency markets, Manish Kumar offers expert analysis on Bitcoin gambling, informed by his extensive experience including in-depth reporting on economic trends and market dynamics.

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