Popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is steadily gaining recognition aside from trading as a digital currency method. It was recently acknowledged by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) as an acceptable currency and deposit method for use by its online casino licensees.
Another global gambling watchdog, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), is more cautious about allowing its licensees to engage in bitcoin transactions. MGA executive chairman, Mr Joseph Cushieri said they have received “very few requests” from licensees in this regard, as previous requests have always been turned down due to his belief that the technology poses a business risk. He further indicated that the MGA plans to take a “national approach” to cryptocurrencies, which would include collaborations with Malta’s Central Bank, the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit and the Malta Financial Services Authority.
Investment broker, Exante, says “the acceptance of bitcoin as payment method would no doubt help popularize it among online casinos and gamers while also attracting bitcoin casinos that currently use fiat currency”. As far as the MGA’s involvement goes, Exante’s communication director, Mr Patrick J O’Brien stated that “the recognition of Bitcoin by Maltese gaming authorities in the years ahead would allow Bitcoin to get on the global gaming market and expand into Asian and Russian markets”
Malta-based bitcoin casino, BitStarz, also believes the adoption of Bitcoin will open up lots of opportunities for the cryptocurrency to spread into the gambling sector, which is currently dominated by fiat money casinos not accepting of Bitcoin.