The Legal Landscape of Crypto Gambling in 2024 - and Why You Should Stay Informed

Crypto gambling image

📖 Published on: April 17th, 2024

✍️ Updated: April 17th, 2024

⏳ 10 mins read

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In the ever-evolving world of iGaming and sports betting, there’s a big shift in how you can access your favorite games and bet on bigger stakes. You’ve probably already heard of crypto gambling and how multiple cryptocurrencies are making waves in the digitization of iGaming services in the US and across the globe.

 

While crypto gambling sites continue to generate more sign-ups and attract players, not everyone is familiar with the legalities of gambling with crypto and where to access these options, and whether it’s for payment flexibility or game variety, the gray area seems to remain just that: gray. In this blog, we’ll break down the legal landscape of crypto gambling in the USA to give you some clarity on gambling with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the US.

 

Are there Federal Laws on Crypto Gambling?

 

The straight answer is no, there are no specific federal laws on cryptocurrency gambling in the US. However, various federal agencies have a say over certain aspects of crypto use in online gambling spaces. You might be thinking, “What do you even mean?” Well, crucial regulatory boards and bodies are formed to help narrow down the technicalities of legally operating as online casinos with crypto services. Here are some you should follow and get credible updates from:

 

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): These folks make it a point to look for companies who are involved or indirectly work with crypto activities without going through the right registration channels.
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): This regulatory body is responsible for overseeing transparent and responsible derivatives markets for digital assets. In the case of digital assets, these derivatives could range from futures, and options, to swaps based on the price of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): These people are tough when it comes to enforcing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This means that in the context of crypto gambling, they can scrutinize how these platforms advertise their success rates, bonuses, and risk levels to ensure that they do not mislead potential gamblers.

 

What to Know about the Laws and Jurisdiction of Crypto Gambling in Major US States

 

It’s okay to admit that there’s a lot about the world of cryptocurrency and gambling in the U.S. that can be confusing and pretty tricky to fully grasp as an iGamer. But differentiating between federal and state laws is crucial when you wish to explore other avenues of iGaming like crypto gambling, so here’s how some big states stack up when it comes to crypto gambling that we hope you’d understand after reading this blog.

 

Nevada

While no one can deny the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas, Nevada is pretty chill with traditional gambling - but licensed online gambling isn’t exactly the same. When it comes to using cryptocurrencies in online gambling, there aren’t any explicit rules stating it’s banned yet, which makes it a bit of a gray area. But you’ll see some of the classic gambling spots starting to accept crypto for things that aren't directly gambling-related.

 

So, if you live in Nevada and have just reached the legal gambling age, casino gaming might be the ideal place to try out your casino gaming skills. Maybe take a trip to Caesar’s or the Bellagio and check out the slots, book a few rooms, and dine in a nice restaurant with cryptocurrency instead of wiping your gambling budget online.

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New Jersey

This state is ahead of the curve in legalizing online casinos and sports betting, but if you’re an avid online casino gamer, then you probably already know that, or maybe you live in New Jersey! One thing’s for sure, the state of New Jersey keeps a tight leash on online gambling operations, but it’s still a bit murky on how crypto fits into this. While online gambling with cash is all fine, using crypto in licensed casinos isn't spelled out in fine print in most online casinos.

 

California

The gem of the West Coast, the sunny state of California is pretty strict and doesn’t have much room for online casinos or sports betting, except for things like horse betting and online fantasy sports. While there are ongoing legal debates on Daily fantasy sports (DFS) and its technical classification as a skill or sport, it’s still considered legal in California.

 

Now, if you’re thinking about crypto gambling and its accessibility in the sunny state, it’s even more unclear due to a lack of specific laws and regulations on its use and validity in online casino games. So, better luck next time - or should we say, better luck next state?

 

Online casino gaming image

 

Pennsylvania

Onto Pennsylvania where online gambling is in the books—think online casinos, poker, and sports betting. If you’re a big sports fan or an amateur poker player trying to log in your practice plays, iGaming in Pennsylvania might just do you some luck. Keep in mind, though, that Pennsylvania hasn’t been specific about where crypto falls in this setup.

 

Most online platforms stick to regular money to keep everything straightforward and within the regulatory framework. Online gambling platforms need to be licensed, so, when choosing an online gaming casino to play on, ensure they’re licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB.)

New York

New York allows some online gambling like horse racing and sports betting, but keeps it under strict regulations. As for crypto gambling, the state hasn’t really tackled this niche yet, so it’s a bit of a question mark on what’s cool and what could get you in hot water.

 

Why the Gray Area?

 

The reason these gray areas exist in these states and beyond is mostly due to how fast technology moves compared to how slow laws can adapt. Federal laws like the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 try to keep online gambling in check but don’t directly touch on cryptocurrencies, making the waters even muddier.

 

If you’re thinking about diving into crypto gambling in the U.S., you need to keep your ear to the ground with both state and federal laws. Things could change quickly with new laws or interpretations, so staying in the loop is key.

 

Accessing the Best Crypto Gambling Sites in the US

 

Now, you might be a bit disappointed finding out how thin the line of legality is when it comes to crypto gambling and playing on Bitcoin gambling sites. But don’t you fret! There are still ways to make the most out of your iGaming experience if you live in the US and want to explore online casino games, polish your poker or slots skills, and learn more about sportsbooks. Here are some alternatives to consider:

 

  • State-Licensed Platforms: Depending on which state you reside in, it’s best to research your state's online gambling regulations. Some states have legalized online casinos, poker, or sports betting with licensed operators. These platforms might offer some deposit methods that could be considered "crypto-friendly" like debit cards linked to crypto exchanges, but again, this all depends on local state regulations, so be vigilant and stay informed!
  • Social Casinos: Some platforms like Stake.us (the US version) offer a social casino experience using virtual currencies, but one thing to keep in mind if you’re new to playing at social casinos is that you cannot win real money using cryptocurrency. You’ll likely have to test out the waters with your gameplay on social casinos and use it as a platform to connect with other iGamers.

 

The Catch of Crypto Gambling

 

The legal intricacies of crypto gambling in the U.S. will require you to tread lightly. While it's clear that the crypto gambling waters are still murky, especially with federal laws like the UIGEA not directly addressing cryptocurrencies, knowing your options is key, and remembering that you've got other options depending on your gambling needs can still make a difference.

 

Whether you're exploring Bitcoin online gambling, looking for the best Bitcoin gambling sites, or just dabbling in social casinos, it's crucial to stay informed about your state's regulations. So, keep your eyes peeled for updates and make sure any platform you select is up to snuff legally. Dive in wisely, and you might just find the treasure trove of iGaming experiences you're after.

 

If you’re a sports betting fan looking into digital currencies and the NBA, you might want to check out our blog at GambleSpot

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