A Practical Guide to Depositing and Withdrawing at Online Casinos with Bitcoin
Only a few years ago it was becoming increasingly difficult for US casino fans to get their money on board. Bitcoin matured at just the right time. It went from being an obscure idea known only by geeks, to a mainstream way of moving your money around.
This page takes stock of the current situation – giving you a step by step guide to using Bitcoin for online casino deposits and withdrawals.
While there are some new ‘Bitcoin Only’ casino brands, I prefer to stick with the longer running and reputable offshore casinos. This may change in the future, though safety (as well as game selection!) is paramount here.
You’ll find out that using Bitcoin is very simple, with just 3 steps before your money is in the casino and you are ready to hit the tables. After the step by step guide you’ll find pros and cons, then some great news about casino bonuses for Bitcoin users. At the end of the page, Litecoin gets a mention, and there is a mini Q&A to cover common questions.
Table: The Best Big Brand Casinos Welcoming Bitcoin in 2018
Practical Guide: Making Your First Bitcoin Casino Deposit
You have chosen a casino which welcomes Bitcoin – this page covers the next steps, all the way through to getting your money on board. If you move reasonably fast, you will not be ‘holding’ the Bitcoin for more than a couple of hours. This protects you from any sudden price movements, since many players prefer not to gamble in this way!
The steps are as follows:
- Get a Bitcoin Wallet
- Buy Bitcoin via an Exchange
- Send the Bitcoin to the Casino
Each step is very easy, here is a little more detail on each one.
#1 – Get a Bitcoin Wallet
Unless you are dealing with $5k or more at a time, my view is that an online Bitcoin wallet is all you need. Offline ones, which sit on your hard drive or an external drive (USB type) can also be used for bigger amounts or for those who prefer the extra security. You can read up on the types of Bitcoin wallet in this article.
Online wallets are available from most Bitcoin exchanges. The advantage of getting one from somewhere like CoinBase is that you can easily access their exchange with just the single sign-up.
Here are some of the popular wallets
#2 – Buy Some Bitcoin at an Exchange
If you have a friend willing to send / sell you some Bitcoin, you can skip this step altogether.
For the rest of us, you need to use an exchange to buy some BTC (the abbreviation for Bitcoin).
Again, once you have done it once, you’ll see how simple the process is. Exchanges bring together buyers and sellers, taking a small fee for their service. You sign up (CoinBase is recommended), send some money via your bank and receive Bitcoins into your wallet in exchange. You do not need to buy whole Bitcoins – these come in 1/1000th units (micro Bitcoins or mBTC).
Here is a shot of the CoinBase exchange:
#3 – Deposit at the Casino
Bitcoin in your wallet is all you need to go ahead and deposit.
You go to the casino cashier first. Click on 'Deposit' and you’ll see a screen like the one below showing all the different payment options:
You type in the amount you want to deposit, any bonus code you are using, and then click the button. This will generate a receivers Id, which takes two formats.
The one I use is the long string of letters and numbers. You copy this and go to your wallet.
After clicking ‘send Bitcoin’ you add this id into the field (see shot below) along with the amount to send. Note that you are in control here, you specify the amount of Bitcoin to send, your wallet service should show you the amount in your usual currency (dollars as a default).
For smaller amounts, this money will be available instantly, and will be available in your casino account within minutes.
Importantly, the big brand offshore casinos will all convert your deposits into dollars at the time the BTC is received. This protects you from any swings in the value of the cryptocurrency. When you withdraw (essentially the reverse, with you creating the receivers Id), those dollars are transferred back into Bitcoin. If you prefer, you can hold some Bitcoin in your wallet, though many people simply go back via their exchange, getting USD back into their bank account.
Positives and Negatives of Using Bitcoin for Casino Deposits
Whatever the practical steps, many people still wonder whether the effort is worth it. After all, credit cards and paper checks do work a lot of the time at US casinos!
Here are the positives of using Bitcoin:
- No Controlling Authority: This is the big one, Bitcoin is decentralized, and not under the control of any single authority… what is not to like about a system not under the eye of bankers and politicians.
- Low Fees: Not none, though this is as low is it gets. You’ll pay a small margin for the exchange part, and your wallet might take (literally) a few pennies.
- You Can Withdraw: Many US Casino deposit methods are one way. For example, if you deposit with a credit card, then a paper check is the only real option for withdrawals. With Bitcoin, you can withdraw quickly and easily – without admin fees.
- Bigger Bonuses: Both Bovada and Slots.lv offer bigger welcome bonuses for BTC deposits. This means you’ll get more bang for your Bitcoin from the get-go.
Here are the negatives of using Bitcoin:
- Volatility: The price of Bitcoin relative to FIAT currencies does move. This is not usually as volatile as the mainstream press would have you believe (usually within a few percentage points). If you keep your wallet topped up, you can’t ignore this.
- Exchanges KYC Rules: When you first use an exchange, they will often ask for Id documents. This is to protect against money laundering, it can be a hassle if you do not have documents on hand.
- Charges: These are tiny, though can’t be completely ignored, after all, depositing with a credit card (when this works) is completely cost-free.
Bitcoin Casino Deposit Bonuses
Some good news here, you’ll not only be able to get the best available bonuses from online casinos when you deposit with Cryptocurrencies, you’ll sometimes get even bigger ones!
At the moment both Slots.lv and Bovada Casino have upped their welcome offer for Bitcoin users. Note that this is not just an increase in the amount, the percentage matched is also increased.
Bovada Bitcoin Casino Bonus: The huge $5000 welcome bonus you’ll get with BTC is split into 4 parts at the biggest US friendly casino, Bovada. You can get 3 casino bonuses, each at a 150% match up to $1500. Use BVBITCOIN150 to claim those. You can also get a $500 sportsbook bonus, this is a 50% match, and uses the coupon code BVBITCOIN50.
Bovada combine 3 types of casino software, and have a reputation for paying out fast.
Check out the latest games and promos for yourself now at www.bovada.lv or click the banner below!
Slots.lv Bitcoin Casino Bonus: This casino is dedicated to slots, and has a rewards program (MySlots Rewards) which is fully focused on topping up the bankrolls of regular players. The Bitcoin bonus is huge. New players get a 300% match on their first deposit (Use Bonus Code SLBITCOIN300) up to $1500, and then up to 8 more 150% matches up to $750 each (Code = SLBITCOIN 150 for those). That is one huge welcome bonus!
There are always player promos running at Slots.lv – check out the latest now over at www.slots.lv or click the banner below!
One trick which I use with (international) e-wallets, which also works with BTC is to keep a quick float in my wallet. This is part of my overall casino bankroll, which can be used for the purpose of casino bonus / promo targeting.
When a new bonus comes up at any casino that welcomes Bitcoin deposits. You’ll have the funds on hand to quickly take advantage. You then take the bonus, enjoy the rewards, and cash out the (hopefully bigger!) balance back into your wallet. This is not only profitable, it adds some variation / interest to your online casino gaming too.
A Quick Note on LiteCoin and Etherium
There are 100’s of cryptocurrencies (anyone remember Dogecoin?). Other than Bitcoin, the only two that have gained serious traction are LiteCoin and Etherium.
Litecoin is already accepted at the BetOnline Casino. This is a long running brand which started out as a sportsbook. They are based in Panama, and have been welcoming US players via telephone and online for more than 11 years. BetOnline also accept Bitcoin.
Etherium looks very interesting. This has an ecosystem alongside the currency component. There is already talk of Etherium poker rooms opening in 2018. I am looking forward to seeing which of the mainstream casinos takes the plunge first. At the moment, this is niche – so only people who know about Bitcoin (and usually, have a wallet) use it.
The Winning Poker Network (which has casino games) now accepts 60 cryptocurrencies. You can check the leading site on this network - America's Cardroom - for the details.
Bitcoin Casino Deposits Mini-FAQ
Are Bitcoin Casino Deposits Legal?
This depends on your location and the laws regarding online casinos. In the US, there are no laws preventing individuals enjoying real money gambling online at the Federal level. What laws exist are aimed at the banks and casinos themselves. State laws vary, with some (Utah make a good example) being very restrictive. Bitcoin is legal, albeit unregulated!
What if the Bitcoin Price Clashes?
If you are using BTC as a way of moving your money around, you will be fine at most casinos. When you complete the deposit, this is changed into US Dollars. It stays in Dollars until you cash out again. Now you’ll get Bitcoin at the current rate.
Should you choose to hold Bitcoin, rather than taking this back via an exchange to your bank account, then you’ll be exposed to risk. This is on both sides of course; the price of Bitcoin might go up.
Can I Play Casino Games without Converting to US Dollars?
Yes, there are casinos which work exclusively in Bitcoin. Look out for coverage of those coming up very soon.
What Alternative Deposit Methods Can a US Player Use?
These are covered in depth elsewhere here at SNG Planet. There are 3 main categories, credit cards (includes prepaid options), money transfer services (for example WU) and player-to-player transfers (at some sportsbooks / casinos only).
Wrap Up on Bitcoin Casino Deposits
By the time you reach this part of the page, you will have enough information to go ahead and get playing using Bitcoin. I have repeated the table from up above here. By now you will see that picking long-running and well-trusted casinos is the key component in staying safe. Those details (and extra bonus offers!) will now make a lot more sense!
More Detailed Casino Deposit Method Guides:
- Main Casino Deposit Methods Page (many more guides!)