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The UK has a strange relationship with cryptocurrency. It’s still seemingly unsure what to do about this new financial market – some think it should be allowed to roam freely while others suggest regulations akin to gambling. The result is a country that allows cryptocurrency exchanges and crypto wallets, though few businesses accept this digital payment method. 

Speaking of cryptocurrency and gambling, there are also concerns about its safety for punters. At the time of writing, a Sky News report indicates that crypto casinos are illegal in the UK. Other countries are becoming more open to the idea of cryptocurrency as a viable gambling payment, so it’s normal to wonder if the UK will lift this ban in 2024 or further in the future. 

We can’t spot any official signs of planned changes, but we can debate whether a reversal is likely. 

The Case For Overturning The UK Crypto Casino Ban

An obvious argument for overturning the ban is that punters can already use gambling sites accepting crypto payments. A UK gambler can simply join non UK regulated casinos and use their crypto wallets. 

Contrary to popular belief, UK players aren’t banned or blocked from joining foreign casinos. As long as the website is unlocked and accepts UK members, you can join it. This begs the question, why doesn’t the UK government lift its ban on UK-licensed crypto casinos?! 

Punters have access to these sites, so surely it’s within the government’s best interests to ensure they can find crypto providers regulated by the UKGC? 

In addition to this, there are two other big reasons a cryptocurrency gambling ban makes no sense and should be overturned: 

UK Residents Can Legally Buy Things Using Crypto

Cryptocurrency is not an approved payment for gambling transactions, but UK residents can use Bitcoin and other crypto tokens to pay for loads of other services. Many retailers accept this mode of payment and plenty more online companies do too. 

It raises the query: if you can use crypto wallets to make other purchases, why should gambling be any different? It’s not like credit cards where you’re betting with money you don’t have. Your crypto assets are all yours, so it’s just like paying with a regular debit card. 

UK Banks Impose Crypto Restrictions

At first glance this looks like an argument in favour of banning crypto. However, it’s a key talking point against the ban. The government is worried about the volatility of cryptocurrency. As such, the UK Gambling Commission doesn’t allow any of its licensees to accept this payment option. 

When you think about it, banks putting limits on crypto transactions makes it incredibly safe. People can only spend a set amount on crypto through their bank, so it’s sort of like a built-in betting limit. 

If crypto gambling was made legal, players wouldn’t be able to overspend! 

The Case Against Overturning The UK Crypto Casino Ban

Hopping over to the other side of the fence we can’t see many compelling arguments against overturning the cryptocurrency casino ban in the UK. 

The only thing we can think of is the volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Prices fluctuate dramatically in such a short period, especially when compared to other FIAT currencies. This won’t mean a great deal to punters, but it could affect the casino businesses themselves. 

Perhaps it’s a case of online casinos begging the government to uphold this ban as they don’t want to deal with such a volatile digital payment. Think about it this way, if a punter spends £1000 at an online casino, the casino gets that money. They see what they earn and it helps them manage their accounts. 

However,  let’s say a customer spends Bitcoin. The casino now has Bitcoin in its crypto wallet, the value of which can go up or down. They’re earned x amount now, but if it’s not immediately withdrawn or sold as cash, they could earn significantly less. 

That’s the only viable argument in favour of keeping the ban that we can conjure up right now. Certainly, from a punter-safety perspective, it doesn’t feel as though denying crypto payments is doing anything. 

Final Thoughts: Will We See A Change To The Crypto Casino Ban? 

Right now, we don’t think there’ll be any changes – which is a shame as crypto can be a useful and safe payment method. We think the UK should take lessons from other territories and see how beneficial crypto payments can be. Maybe if it sees that crypto casinos in the US and across Europe aren’t facing issues, they’ll come around.