Are Bitcoin sportsbooks worth it?
First of all, let’s look into what a Bitcoin sportsbook is exactly. They range from Bitcoin-focused to simply allowing Bitcoin as another means of payment. The catch (usually) is that the money you deposit in the form of Bitcoin can only be withdrawn as Bitcoin, not in any other way. This means that the sportsbook will be just that – a sportsbook – and not act as a cryptocurrency exchange as well. There are some sportsbooks who just chose to add Bitcoin as a mean of payment, while others have built entire businesses around using Bitcoin – and the sportsbook part is just a small piece. There are sportsbooks which offer everything from Bitcoin faucets to investment ideas. Usually, the more Bitcoin-focused they are, the more you’ll suffer in terms of odds and quality of services.
Apart from the sportsbooks using the famous digital coin, the rest of their services look very much the same. Users have a nice signup bonuses, odds are more-or-less good, depending on the quality of the sportsbook, customer support is still there, and the selection of bets is quite good as well. Not a lot of things differentiate a regular sportsbook to a Bitcoin one, but we have seen a few difference which we want to highlight in our Pros and Cons list:
- Quickness of deposits. In a Bitcoin transaction, there is a thing called “gas”. Simply put, this is what a party (sender or receiver) has to pay Bitcoin miners in order to have their transaction done. The more they pay, the quicker the miners deal with it. Most Bitcoin sportsbooks pay big sums in gas money, so that deposits between a client’s Bitcoin wallet and their own are done in a few minutes, unlike credit card deposits, which might take anything to half an hour.
- Tax advantages. In certain countries, winning Bitcoins from sportsbooks is not subject to takes. Even if they are, there are methods of avoiding these taxes fairly easy and legally, and Bitcoins are generally much easier to hide than real cash. If you treasure anonymity in betting a lot, you’ll love Bitcoin betting – it’s almost impossible to trace.
- Modern approach. If the world will indeed adopt cryptocurrencies, sportsbooks who have offered Bitcoin services will have a competitive edge over their opponents. This is a big “if”, but doable if you’re a believer in Bitcoin.
- More income possibilities. In a bull market, winning Bitcoin can net you double income. One from actually settling your bets and winning them, and the second part by the increase in value of the Bitcoin. The same thing is valid the other way around, too – if Bitcoin loses value, your bets are less valuable too.
- Security. Lots of cryptocurrency exchanges were hacked in the past, as well as known wallets. A sportsbook is also obliged to have a Bitcoin wallet of its own, which might be subject to hacking as well. Even if everyone takes the appropriate security precautions, adding Bitcoins to the equation of a sportsbook brings some extra security worries.
- Unstable market. What is a Bitcoin really worth? Will it be outlawed at a certain point? Can you actually use it in different places as a currency, or will you be forced to turn it back into dollars at some point? There are all valid questions you have to ask yourself before using a Bitcoin Sportsbook – maybe the entire “Bitcoin” aspect of it is not worth it.
- Less ideal customer service. Typically, these businesses tend to focus a lot more on being able to provide Bitcoin-related services than run a great sportsbook. That being said, customer support is usually the first area to suffer. Customer support staff also have to be able to answer cryptocurrency – related questions, which aren’t easy to understand to begin with.
- Less focus on betting. Building on the previous point, some Bitcoin sportsbooks tend to forget the “betting” aspect of their business, and offer less ideal odds, sub-par bonuses and not a lot of selections. This isn’t a global trend, but something worth looking into.
At the end of the day, the conclusion is quite simple: the appeal of a Bitcoin sportsbook is directly related to your opinion about the cryptocurrency. If you believe that Bitcoin is the future and own a few, you could easily make a case that Bitcoin sportsbooks are the greatest thing ever imagined. If not, however, you might just as well ignore them, as they bring no added value to your betting experience.