ONLINE CRYPTO GAMBLING INDUSTRY OVERVIEW, August 2023
While crypto gambling offers anonymity, flexibility, and chances for bigger wins, it lacks responsible gambling tools and provides opportunities for scams due to the absence of regulatory measures. With thousands of crypto casinos to choose from, it can be challenging to navigate the crypto gambling landscape. So, how can you protect yourself and make informed decisions when selecting a crypto casino?
We closely followed the crypto gambling landscape dynamics and analyzed the top 200 crypto casinos since 2020. These are the key findings.
“There are currently around 1000 online crypto casinos, with less than 100 of them being crypto-only casinos. In the last three years, we had the opportunity to work with more than 200 of them and many other industry players.”
We put this crypto gambling statistics report together to sum up our experiences and insights, delve into the advantages and drawbacks of crypto gambling, examine market growth and key trends, most popular cryptocurrencies, casino longevity, anonymity, games and wins, responsible gambling tools, and crypto gambling regulations. By shedding light on the nuances of this industry, we aim to inform players, stakeholders and the broader public alike about the current state and future prospects of the crypto gambling sector.
Disclaimer: A crypto-only casino is a casino that accepts cryptocurrencies only, plus offers its services, including games and bonuses, to crypto players.Hybrid casinos accept FIAT and cryptocurrencies.
In contrast, FIAT casinos that added only Bitcoin as a payment method to their portfolio and are not offering any other cryptocurrencies or services to crypto players are not part of this report.
The number of blockchain transactions related to gambling has been increasing, with estimates suggesting that around 50% of all blockchain transactions are related to gambling.According to Bitrates, approximately 1.5 million people use cryptocurrency to gamble online, with Bitcoin being the most popular cryptocurrency used for gambling, followed by Ethereum.
The first crypto-accepting online casinos appeared soon after Bitcoin’s release in 2009. The first (although rare) casinos added Bitcoin as a payment option in 2010. However, these were still regular fiat casinos that only added Bitcoin, more out of curiosity than anything else.
The first online casinos that actually focused primarily on crypto didn’t appear until 2014. A year later, the first online casinos that also included any part of blockchain technology in their software apart from accepting crypto payments (for example, their own games with the provably fair feature on the blockchain) appeared.
The year 2017 marked a significant turning point for the crypto market. It was the year when the crypto market “exploded” with hundreds of new altcoins and Bitcoin’s price skyrocketing over $1000 for the first time. As a result, this was also the year when the first wave of online crypto casinos emerged, accounting for approximately 7% of the current online crypto casino market. This trend continued to gain momentum, and new crypto casinos have been popping up ever since.
However, it was the year 2020 that witnessed the highest influx of new crypto casinos so far. This was the year when Bitcoin experienced one of its most notable price jumps, and the crypto hype spread outside the tech-savvy audiences. In fact, a staggering 22.3% of all crypto casinos were established in 2020, closely followed by 2021 with nearly 20% (19.7%) of new crypto casinos joining the scene.
On the other hand, the rapid growth in the number of crypto casinos attracted many individuals without sufficient experience in running gambling sites and withstanding the challenges of the crypto market.
“An obvious consequence of the 2020 crypto hype is that many people saw crypto gambling as a lucrative opportunity, even those with no (or almost no) prior experience with running a gambling site.”
The crypto market crash in 2022 took care of ‘cleansing’ the market of most such casinos, which simply didn’t have what it takes to survive harder times in the crypto market. This can be observed in the fact that 25% of crypto casinos which began in 2021 don’t exist anymore.
According to our data, none of the crypto-accepting casinos that began before 2014 have closed down. This also confirms the fact that none of these casinos is primarily crypto-oriented, meaning they have not been as severely impacted by the fluctuations in the crypto market.
Those Bitcoin casino statistics show that the market survival and closure rates of crypto casinos are closely correlated with the establishment of a solid business foundation and adapting to changing market conditions.
Most crypto casinos that accept over 10 different cryptocurrencies opened in 2017 or 2018. This timeframe coincides with the altcoin frenzy that took place in 2017. During that period, numerous altcoins experienced rapid value increases, leading many to believe that they could potentially become the next Bitcoin. As a result, a significant level of trust was placed in the altcoin market.
However, in 2018 the altcoin market’s momentum subsided to some extent, and the average number of accepted cryptocurrencies in crypto casinos dropped back to the ‘usual’ top 7 (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, and Ripple).
Interestingly, our bitcoin gambling statistics show that there is a significant disparity in the number of cryptocurrencies accepted by casinos that accommodate more than 10 options. There are only a couple of casinos that accept 10 to 50 cryptocurrencies. Then there is a considerable gap with basically no casinos accepting between 50 and 100 cryptocurrencies, and again only a couple of casinos accepting over 100 cryptocurrencies.
“It’s interesting, as both types of casinos, those who offer plenty of coins and those who do not, use the same argument to support their decision – ensuring a good user experience.
Casinos that accept a few cryptocurrencies argue that cryptocurrencies can easily be converted and there is no need to offer more options. Moreover, many crypto games are designed to be played with the most popular and widely supported coins. Therefore, offering a limited selection ensures players’ compatibility and a seamless gaming experience.
On the other hand, casinos that offer an extensive list of 100+ cryptocurrencies do so to streamline the process for players. By providing internal crypto conversions, these casinos eliminate the additional steps of converting coins before entering the casino. Players can easily convert their preferred tokens into any other currency without ever leaving the casino. This way, everyone can bring their own token and enjoy playing all the available games. When it’s time to withdraw, players can convert their balance back to their desired cryptocurrency.”
Whether it’s a handful of coins or a vast selection, the widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies in the gambling industry begs the question: What makes crypto so appealing in the first place? Let’s explore some of the benefits that crypto brings to the world of gambling.
One of the main advantages of crypto gambling is that it provides a high level of anonymity and security for players.
Since cryptocurrency transactions are decentralized and encrypted, players can enjoy a level of privacy in anonymous Bitcoin casinos that is not possible with traditional online casinos.
Over 35% of all crypto-accepting casinos require only an email to signup, deposit and play.
For example, crypto-only casinos usually ask for just one or two pieces of personal information, such as an email address and either a name or date of birth. On the other hand, hybrid casinos, which accept both cryptocurrencies and traditional fiat currencies, typically require more than four pieces of personal information. This makes sense since hybrid casinos are required to collect more personal information in case any player decides to use fiat to deposit, whereas regulations require casinos and payment providers to collect more information.
Besides anonymity, there is another aspect that makes crypto attractive for the gambling industry, namely, it offers more flexibility. But what exactly is flexibility?
Regarding deposit and withdrawal limitations in cryptocurrencies, crypto-only casinos are much more flexible than hybrid casinos that accept both fiat and crypto. The minimum deposits in crypto-only casinos are at least half the size of those in hybrid casinos, with an average of less than $30. In comparison, some hybrid casinos have minimum deposits of well over $100.
The maximum deposits in crypto-only casinos are almost 15 times higher than those in hybrid casinos (ranging from $700 to $1,000,000 (or unlimited)), with nearly 90% of crypto-only casinos not limiting them. On the other hand, hybrid casinos do not limit them 75% of the time.
In terms of maximum withdrawals, crypto-only casinos demonstrate a substantial advantage over hybrid casinos, offering nearly three times higher average maximum withdrawal amounts ranging from $400 to nearly $1,400,000.
Moreover, more than half of crypto-only casinos do not impose any limitations on withdrawals at all.
Minimum withdrawals range from a couple of dollars to $400 on average. There is less difference between crypto-only and hybrid casinos, although crypto-only casinos still maintain an edge with nearly 50% lower minimum withdrawal requirements compared to their hybrid counterparts.
Crypto-only casinos offer more flexibility when it comes to deposit and withdrawal limitations, with higher maximum deposits and more frequent unlimited withdrawals than hybrid or FIAT-only casinos.
When it comes to maximum possible bets, players can bet more significant amounts compared to traditional fiat casinos. In traditional casinos, the highest bets can be made on live games, where bets can range up to $200,000, while finding a slot where you can place $100 on one bet is extremely rare.
In contrast, crypto-casino players have the opportunity to place considerably larger bets on their in-house games. Certain crypto-casinos have absolutely no restrictions on bets placed within their in-house games. So you can easily find crypto slot games exceeding the maximum betting limits of classic casinos, enabling players to place bets of 100 BTC or more, should they choose to do so.
Crypto-casinos in-house games do not only offer unlimited bets but bring another unique aspect to the table that sets them apart from traditional casinos. Namely, the provably fair aspect of their own in-house games adds a new level of transparency and trust to the gambling experience. Let us look into this next.
About 10% of all crypto casinos decided to invest in their own, in-house developed casino games. In provably fair games, the underlying technology, often based on blockchain, allows players to verify the fairness of each game’s outcome. This means that players can independently and easily confirm that the game’s results are not manipulated or biased in favor of the provably fair casino.
In most cases, casinos developed their own versions of either Bitcoin Dice or crypto Crash games or both. Crash and Dice games actually derive from the crypto community itself. Interestingly, these games originated within the crypto community itself, starting out as standalone gambling sites that exclusively offered either Crash or Dice games. Due to their rapid rise in popularity, they made their way into crypto casinos as early as 2015.
Later casinos expanded their in-house game offerings to include other options such as Mines, Plinko, hi-lo, provably fair slots, wheel spin, and more. Eventually, they even introduced classic casino games like poker, blackjack, and roulette.
It’s worth noting that crypto casinos featuring in-house games beyond Crash and Dice are quite rare, making up only around 5% of the overall crypto casino market. Today most casinos with in-house games also offer games from other game providers.
With the opportunity to tailor the deposits, withdrawals and bets to their own needs and the provably fair games, one would assume that this is reflected in the wins. But is it really?
Crypto gambling offers users a great chance to win really big prizes since one can bet a lot more with crypto than with fiat currencies.
All-time biggest wins per game type speak for themselves:
Crypto poker: $7,750,652
The biggest casino win ever on the crypto gambling scene was achieved by a very skillful and lucky player named Antanas Guoga, also known as Tony G. He won a life-changing $7,750,652 in February of 2022. This huge sum was won in an online crypto poker game. On top of that, not only did he break the record for the biggest crypto win ever, but he also broke the record for the biggest online poker pot of all time!
Crypto Slots: $2,459,124
The biggest casino win in slots game was accomplished by a BitStarz player who won a whopping $2,459,124! This incredibly high amount was won on a slot game called Azrabah Wishes, created by GameArt, in a single spin. The highest possible multiplier for this game is x15,000!
Online Live Roulette: 53 BTC
With a bit of luck and skill, this particular player won 53 BTC on Couldbet’s Live Roulette in September 2018, worth around $348.560. In this case, the anonymous player was able to get a good use out of Cloudbet’s high betting limits, which ultimately resulted in such a big win.
Crypto dice: 11k BTC
There hasn’t been much talk about crypto dice’ biggest wins since 2013, when a player known as Nakowa won close to 11,000 Bitcoins! Of course, Bitcoin was much cheaper back then, but still, the amount he won over the course of that fortunate and prosperous weekend totaled to around $1,3 million, which is definitely one of the biggest, if not THE biggest casino win or winning streak ever for a crypto dice game!
The game that keeps rising above the rest in terms of the frequency of big winnings (from a couple of hundred thousand to half a million,) is CRYPTO SLOTS.
“Unfortunately, the trend shows that players who win big also often lose big afterward. Many just keep playing but with bigger stakes, and when they start losing, they start chasing the win, which often lets them with nothing.”
Scenarios like these highlight the need for regulatory tools and responsible gambling measures to protect players from such situations. Do crypto-casinos have them in place?
Responsible gambling measures aim to promote responsible gambling practices and mitigate the risks associated with excessive gambling.
There are 5 different major responsible gambling tools that are in use across online casinos:
While most casinos offer the latter due to its simplicity and common sense, others aren’t all offered so consistently.
There are differences among jurisdictions and licenses, defining which of these tools are mandatory and which are optional; however, there is a common consensus that self-exclusion should be guaranteed at all times. Even though there is about 1% of crypto casinos missing this option.
Since using any of these tools appropriately and in time requires a lot of self-awareness, offering the tools in a user-friendly and easy-to-use way is crucial. Sadly, most casinos still require players to contact support and request any of these tools specifically.
“Since responsible gambling tools don’t bring money to casinos, casinos don’t invest in developing them. Instead, they focus their investments on rented software that powers their operations. If these tools are already integrated with the software, they are available; otherwise, they are typically absent.”
Almost all casinos that offer all the tools mentioned above are hybrid casinos. Crypto-only casinos tend to use their own software more often than hybrid casinos in order to support their innovations and therefore, one won’t find responsible gambling tools among them.
So how come there are no regulations in place that would not allow for the lack of such tools? Who regulates those casinos, and who is allowed to gamble?
Crypto casinos operate outside the traditional regulatory frameworks seen in conventional gambling establishments.
One important aspect contributing to that is the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies and the challenges it presents in terms of payment regulation. Cryptocurrencies operate on decentralized blockchain networks, bypassing traditional banking systems and intermediaries. This decentralized nature makes it almost impossible for regulatory bodies to enforce payment regulations and monitor financial transactions.
Additionally, identifying the jurisdiction of crypto-casinos can be challenging, as they can operate globally without a physical presence.
However, this does not mean that crypto casinos operate without any regulations or oversight.
The regulation of online crypto-casinos varies across jurisdictions and depends on the specific legal framework of each country or region.
Some jurisdictions have started to introduce specific regulations for crypto gambling platforms, aiming to ensure consumer protection, fair play, and prevention of illegal activities. fairness of their games. These regulations may cover aspects such as anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures.
Furthermore, reputable crypto casinos often take self-regulatory measures to maintain integrity and provide a secure gambling environment. They usually obtain licenses or undergo third-party audits to verify the fairness of their games.
When it comes to eligibility, similar rules apply to crypto casinos as they do to traditional casinos. Players must meet the legal gambling age requirements of their jurisdiction and comply with any specific regulations governing online gambling in their region.
So let’s look into licenses and country restrictions a bit further.
One of the key factors in determining the legality of crypto gambling is the jurisdiction in which the casino operates. Despite its popularity, it’s important to note that not all countries have legalized crypto gambling. Some jurisdictions have strict regulations in place to ensure that online casinos operate fairly and transparently, while others have more relaxed rules, and certain countries even have laws in place that restrict gambling entirely.
Online casinos are also bound by their license to restrict those countries and territories from opening an account and playing in the casino. Apart from those territories, casinos are free to add any countries to the list if they feel like it, given their own reasons.
Not surprisingly, the United States is the most restricted country among crypto casinos, as well as online casinos in general, and most licenses don’t cover the US. The US is then followed by UK, Netherlands, France and Curacao. The latter may be a bit surprising at first glance as it derives from the fact that 89% of all crypto casinos have a Curacao gambling license. However, the Curacao license doesn’t allow players from Curacao. For them to be able to play casinos would need to file a request with the Curaçao Gaming Control Board. As Curacao is not a target country for casinos, they usually do not bother with the process.
Know Before You Play: How Online Casinos Handle Country RestrictionsThere are different ways in which online casinos apply country restrictions:
Basically, every sovereign territory can issue its own license to regulate gambling within its territory. However, since most countries don’t issue their licenses, licenses from countries that issue them have become more popular and accepted in other territories.
Every license comes with its conditions and regulations, which can be more or less strict and enforced and can greatly impact how a casino operates. The basic idea of having licenses is to regulate important aspects of gambling, such as:
When looking at online crypto casinos, you can find only three possible licensing situations:
CRYPTO CASINO LICENCES
There is a very straightforward explanation as to why no other licenses can be found among crypto casinos.
1. Cryptocurrencies are still unregulated in most territories or are even illegal in some cases. Every regulatory body which strives to enforce a stricter license and therefore a better-regulated gambling market wants to have a clear understanding of a casino’s financial operations, requiring the casino to use a centralized payment method, which crypto isn’t.
2. On the other hand, cryptocurrencies provide a high level of anonymity, allowing users to transact without revealing their identities unless they are involved in purchasing crypto through exchanges. Even then, personal information isn’t shared along with crypto transactions.
Every regulatory body with a stricter license requires casinos to also be more selective about the players they accept, which becomes challenging when the casino lacks information about the players’ identities and origins.
3. Another, although not so common, reason is that some crypto casinos develop their own casino games, which do not undergo the same testing procedures as games from licensed software providers. Since most licenses require casino games to come from licensed game software developing companies, crypto casinos with their own games don’t fulfill this condition.
These facts alone already suggest that licenses found in online crypto casinos aren’t the strictest, otherwise, casinos couldn’t obtain them. This then poses the question, what exactly do these licenses require from crypto casinos, and is this sufficient from the players’ perspective?
1. The Curacao eGaming license requires only one of the above five aspects to be fulfilled and that is gambling addiction, minors protection and self-exclusion. The way this license works is that there are four master license holders which then sub-license casinos, effectively creating a ‘gap’ between the regulatory body and the casinos. For example, since there is no backing required this could mean that if a player deposited a larger sum of money and hit a big win, which the casino can’t pay out due to insufficient funds, the player’s options to seek assistance or representation would be limited as there is no regulatory body players could turn to directly.
There is also no regular checking of how the casino operates as long as the casino shows a ‘clean slate’ upon obtaining the license.
2. The Costa Rica license is basically the same, except they don’t even enforce any gambling addiction or minor protection policies. In fact, it is not even a license, but it is possible to set up an online gambling company in Costa Rica that allows the operator to conduct online gambling activities from Costa Rica in the absence of any specific regulatory framework for online casinos and betting. Usually, casinos use the diction “established under the laws of Costa Rica.
3. The fact that a small percentage of crypto casinos don’t have a license at all is not surprising either.
In a centralized world, a casino without a license can’t operate because no financial establishment will process gambling transactions without a valid license. However, with crypto being decentralized and requiring no financial institution to process the transactions, crypto casinos don’t technically need a license to be able to operate. Obviously, from the players’ perspective, this isn’t the best scenario because unlicensed casinos have no legal requirements whatsoever.
“Our opinion on this matter is that crypto casinos should have a license anyway, simply because we believe that something is still better than nothing, even if this something is not much. We hope for the future of crypto online gambling that other regulatory bodies with better and stricter licenses will be able to work their way into the crypto gambling market. However, as long as there are cheaper and easier ways to get and maintain licenses out there and there is no perceived player preference regarding casino licenses, this isn’t likely to change.”
Obviously, the lack of regulations opens opportunities to operate on unlawful terms. This doesn’t mean that every crypto casino is by default scamming its players. However, one can see how quickly that can happen, and there is very little in effect to prevent that.
While the decentralized nature of crypto casinos provides certain advantages, such as increased privacy and accessibility, it also means that players bear a greater responsibility for their own safety and security. Luckily there are a few ways to protect oneself from falling victim to scam casinos.
One way to identify fake casinos is by spotting those that are mere copies of existing ones. Fake casinos simply copy existing designs and offerings of legitimate casinos.
“It is interesting to see that in fact, only 20% of all casinos have developed special features that enhance the player experience and actually stand out from others. That does not mean the rest is a scam, it simply means that they are not offering anything new or different than the average crypto casino out there.”
Another thing to look for before transferring money to an online casino is bad online reviews. If players have difficulties withdrawing their funds, they are likely to share their experiences on forums and review platforms like Trustpilot. Crypto casino reviews can provide valuable insights into a casino’s reliability.
Furthermore, seek out unbiased reviews from affiliates who objectively test and evaluate casinos. These affiliates earn revenue based on website traffic, rather than through listing sales, ensuring their assessments are impartial and trustworthy.
However, It is important to acknowledge that not all affiliates operate with the same level of integrity. Many prioritize selling their listings, often obscuring the actual quality of the casinos they promote.
“At Gamblineers, we pay attention to who we work with and we never sell our listings. Basically, everyone with some web development knowledge and blockchain understanding can open a crypto casino. And this is where we come in. We work only with proven casinos; currently, it’s 160 of them and we continuously test and monitor their performance.”
You can further look into this topic by researching blacklisted casinos.
Crypto casinos have a lot of potential and offer some significant advantages, such as faster transactions, easier access, lower fees, and more privacy. Their own software is impressive and their in-house games are provably fair.
However, it’s really important to do thorough research before choosing a crypto casino to play at. New crypto casinos are constantly emerging and some of them prove to be scam. The ones that will last are the ones that can prove they’re trustworthy and bring something new to the industry. The fact is that the gambling industry lacks substantial new games and innovative advancements, and as a result, casinos that stand out are the ones that focus on being unique and making small improvements to create a more creative experience.
“Where we see the trend going in the future is the social aspect of gambling. Casinos that offer opportunities to connect with like-minded people, to chat and share information.”
Examples of such could be player tipping, player chats, and other social aspects of gambling that build a sense of community. Even little advancements can go a long way.
“Currently, we observe this in only about 5 out of 160 casinos we work with.
Plus, something that has always been important and will be even more so in the future is good user treatment.”
Creating a good user experience is another aspect to focus on; however, VIP players are and have always been in advantage here. The ones that bring the most money to the casino are obviously the ones getting the priority treatment – quick responses and issues resolved outside the usual terms & conditions.
Changing that and offering everyone a great experience should be another way to build trust and retain players in the future.
“We hope our Bitcoin casino statistics report sheds light on the credibility and integrity of crypto gambling. So before you roll the dice, remember: research is your best bet for finding a trustworthy casino that brings excitement, innovation, and a strong sense of community to the table.”
Gamblineers.com is an in-depth crypto-gambling site that guides players through the gaming process and helps them find the best casino, coin, or bonus.
All reviews are objective and impartial, coming from a player’s perspective. What differentiates Gamblineers.com from others is that the listings are not for sale; if a casino gets a top place on Gamblineers.com list, it’s because it deserves it. The team behind Gamblineers.com did their homework – dove deep and turned every corner to find the top-rated casinos, the best games, and the biggest bonuses out there.
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