Per a report from market research firm Grand View Research, in 2020, the global sports betting market had an estimated size of $66.98 billion. The San Francisco-based company dedicated to providing syndicated research reports believes that changes in the regulatory landscape, coupled with developing digital infrastructure, will positively affect this market, helping it grow at an annual compound rate of 10.1% until 2028. Technology advisory, Technavio, agrees with these projections, as it too claims that the worldwide sports betting market share will jump to $106 billion by 2025.
Technoavio lists similar reasons for this industry’s expansion as Grand View Research. Yet, it also adds that the rise of crypto betting is a substantial factor that will play an ever-growing role in this sector’s player pool expanding in the years to come.
Hence, what follows is an explanation of what crypto gambling sites are and why they are enticing bettors to test their sports betting knowledge via digital forms of money instead of fiat currency.
Is Sports Betting Thriving Everywhere?
Concerning internet sports betting, for over two decades, most gambling sites that offer these services got based in countries like Curacao, Antigua, and Panama. That was so because these territories were the first to legalize online gambling as a way to attract foreign investments. They sought to exploit this industry to give their local economies a boost. A strategy that paid off, as Curacao alone is now home to hundreds of gaming/betting operators that offer their services globally.
However, in recent times, countries around the globe have realized that they are losing tax revenues from their residents betting on these overseas platforms, so they have chosen to also allow this pastime. In other words, they have permitted operators to establish online gambling businesses within their borders, services that their citizens can use. That is an undisputed trend virtually everywhere. Therefore it is accurate to say that an internet sports betting boom has occurred over the past few years, as governments are looking to plug budget shortfalls by permitting this sector to grow on their soil.
Here are a few examples of regions where sports betting is flourishing.
In 2018, the USA Supreme court repealed PASPA, a federal law that banned sports betting in the US. That opened the doors for US states to legalize this hobby, and since, around thirty have chosen to do so, with eighteen allowing operators to accept internet wagers. Nevertheless, Bitcoin betting is not an option at US-based sportsbooks.
The UK is undoubtedly the most massive gambling market in Europe. It got regulated in 2005 when Tony Blair’s government decided to pass the Gambling Act, a law that established the UK Gambling Commission in 2007, the Old Continent’s most stringent regulator. The UK usually generates a gross gambling yield of around £14 billion. And the UKGC boasts a reputation for enforcing player safety measures that most bettors frown upon, such as low max bet limits, promo restrictions, etc. Still, it made cryptos a fiat money equivalent in 2016, allowing Bitcoin sports betting sites to operate in the UK from the UK.
Sweden is likely the second most regulated online gaming/betting market in Europe. Its licensing/monitory body, the Swedish Gambling Authority, got birthed in the 1990s, overseeing this market that generates around SEK 24,690 million annually. The SGA follows many of the safety measures pioneered by the UKGC, meaning it also features restrictions and caps that many Swedish online gamblers do not encounter at Curacao-regulated sites.
For several years, online gambling has been a grey zone in Germany. That all changed in 2021 when the country updated its Interstate Treaty on Gambling and introduced new possibilities for those seeking to explore this sector in Germany. Now, the German state of Schleswig-Holstein can issue online gambling licenses to operators who want to run gaming/betting websites in Germany. The law also implements the centralized self-exclusion system OASIS, akin to UK’s GamStop network. It is worth noting that Germany seeks to copy the regulatory goings-on in the UK and Sweden, forming a highly-regulated market as soon as possible.
The situation in the Netherlands more or less mimics the one in Germany. Its Remote Gambling Act started getting forced in 2021, effectively establishing this industry in Holland. It did so with the country’s regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), providing ten licenses and establishing the CRUKS self-exclusion system.
How Do Crypto Betting Sites Function
On the surface, functionality-wise, a crypto betting site looks and works about the same as its fiat counterparts. That said, they generally accept players from multiple jurisdictions while providing unrivalled level of anonymity. Therefore, a Bitcoin sportsbook can offer perks unattainable at platforms run by operators in the UK, US, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and other restrictive markets. They can also provide novel betting options, stunning loyalty perks, and faster more secure transfers that are unavailable at fiat gambling sites.
It is vital to point out that some crypto betting platforms have no licenses and operate on a good faith basis with their clientele. As a rule of thumb, gamblers should be warry of these, and they should check the terms and conditions of any crypto site to see if their country is on the list of eligible territories from which that platform allows bettors to join its ranks.
Crypto Sportsbooks vs. Fiat Gambling Sites
Every category of internet betting hub has its pros and cons. In this subheading, the ones of fiat and crypto online sportsbooks get noted:
The Benefits of Using a Fiat Sportsbook:
- Official third-party dispute resolution.
- Coverage of local sporting events.
- Universal self-exclusion.
- Top-end user safety measures.
The Drawbacks of Using a Fiat Sportsbook:
- Wagering limits.
- Limited promotional offering.
- A limited number of sports betting markets.
The Benefits of Using a Crypto Betting Site:
- More enticing bonus.
- No wagering restrictions.
- Gambling anonymity.
- Access to niche betting markets.
- Perk-rich VIP schemes.
The Drawbacks of Using a Crypto Betting Site:
- Limited problem gambling functions.
- No universal self-exclusion.
- Disputes get handled according to foreign laws.
Final Thought on Crypto Gambling Platforms
Yes, crypto betting platforms seem to be all the rage now. Still, it is up to bettors to decide for themselves if they wish to trade the positives these Bitcoin sportsbooks offer in exchange for experiencing some of their negative aspects. Sure, getting a taste of sizeable amounts of free-betting cash is an alluring proposition, but if a problem arises, how comfortable will it be for it to get resolved via foreign laws? Ultimately, it is up to every gambler to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of these gambling hubs and decide if using one is worth their time. Today, everyone seems to be going a bit crypto-crazy. Consequently, no one should 100% close the door to exploring using digital money in all facets of life, as cryptocurrencies may become the dominant form of payment relatively soon.
Credit: Valentin Balan – Free to use under the Unsplash license
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