Examining the legality of BTC gambling in the US

Bitcoin is fast making waves in the online gambling spectrum. There is a lot of back and forth about the whole idea of its use, but users
will be pleased to know that plenty of countries around the world have given it the props to fund online gambling ventures and act as an alternative to fiat-based payments. In the United States, there is of course the question of the legality of the use of the currency in gambling. And here is where it gets all tangled.

The general use of bitcoin is not prohibited in the US. However, when being used as a tool for online gambling, it falls under the same rules that govern gambling over the internet via the use of fiat currency. This is to say that if the state of New York for instance, has outlawed online gambling, then Bitcoin gambling in that state is automatically banned.

The small issue of jurisdiction

The concept of jurisdiction in online gambling has always been a thorny issue in the US. The federal government considers online gambling as a whole to be illegal, regardless of the shape, form or mode of placing wagers. Individual states also have their specific take on the issue. As to how many states allow or forbid online gambling, that is a horribly difficult question to answer. This is because some states allow very specific forms of online gambling, and local authorities within specific states have imposed zoning and licensing regulations on it. For example, Nevada is the only US state where online gambling is acceptable in all forms through all the jurisdictions. Places like Utah and California only allow specific areas to conduct this kind of gambling. Some states only allow it in American Indian reservations and other small clustered places.

So, is Bitcoin gambling legal in the Land of the Free?

In the states that allow online gambling, wagering in Bitcoin is of course legal. In the regions where online gambling is forbidden by law, Bitcoin gambling is technically illegal. Technically because we are talking about a currency that is hard to track, making it hard for law enforcement to follow up on. This means you can still gamble using BTC and not be flouting the law. In fact, the US Department of Defence and the Internal Revenue Service has not taken a position on Bitcoin gambling. At the moment, there are no cases of these regulatory bodies going after people just because they placed bitcoin wagers online, and that’s good news for those who are aficionados of the currency and want to gamble discreetly over the internet.

If you’re interested in learning more about Bitcoin gambling you can view our list of the best Bitcoin casinos.

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