If you’re already placing bets at your sportsbook with Bitcoin, you’re ahead of the curve. If you’re not, we’re here to draw your attention to the fact that using Bitcoin for deposits and withdrawals at online sportsbooks is the wave of the future. Sportsbooks are almost always the first adopters of any significant innovation in retail financial technology, and Bitcoin is no exception.
We outline all the significant advantages of using Bitcoin, teach you how to deposit and withdraw Bitcoin from your sportsbook, and give you insider tips on how to successfully harness the benefits of Bitcoin at your sportsbook.
A Primer on Bitcoin
Bitcoin is, in essence, a virtual currency (which many refer to as “the internet of money”). Once you become familiar with a few minor details, Bitcoin is just as easy to use as platforms like Neteller or PayPal.
Built on blockchain technology, Bitcoin’s control is beyond the purview of any person, entity, or institution, which is what makes it such a natural fit sportsbooks. No banks have any involvement in Bitcoin transactions whatsoever.
(5) Advantages of Using Bitcoin for Sports Betting:
All successful sports bettors find their “edge” over their sportsbook by scrutinizing the tiniest details. “Sharps” shop for the best lines, divide up their bets with methodical precision, and use complex mathematical prediction models. Heck, they even factor in variables like wind speed and humidity.
If you’re looking to get an edge like those sharps, you can get it just by using Bitcoin. When engaging in Bitcoin sports betting, you’ll have anonymity, perfect security, access to huge bonuses, financial flexibility, and quicker processing times. Best of all, Bitcoin sports betting features lower fees than conventional banking methods.
1. Sportsbooks Offer Bigger Bonuses on Bitcoin Deposits
Bitcoin sports betting is just as advantageous for your sportsbook as it is for bettors. (Sportsbooks don’t want to deal with third-party institutions — like banks — and their associated fees any more than you do.) In an effort to incentivize using Bitcoin, sportsbooks offer more enticing bonuses for Bitcoin deposits than with conventional currency. In many cases, Bitcoin bonuses are up to 2x bigger.
Initial Deposit Bonuses
Are you searching for a big deposit bonus? Bitcoin should be your deposit method of choice.
As a rule of thumb, when you deposit via conventional methods (i.e. credit card, bank transfer, PayPal, etc.), your sportsbook will likely cap your bonus anywhere from $25-$500, depending on the site, and will usually only match a portion of your deposit. However, if you deposit with Bitcoin, the maximum limit tends to be higher (as high as $1,000) and your sportsbook is more likely to match 100% of your deposit.
Bitcoin Reload Bonuses
In addition to sizeable initial deposit bonuses, many sportsbooks offer Bitcoin-specific reload bonuses. Our research found that Bitcoin reload bonuses came with a significantly higher match-percentage than their conventional counterparts. Additionally, Bitcoin reload bonuses are usually available every time you re-up, not just intermittently or seasonally like with traditional deposit methods.
As a whole, Bitcoin reload bonuses are far superior.
2. Deposits with Bitcoin Will Never Be Rejected
If you’ve been betting on sports for any length of time, you’ve likely had some kind of transaction, be it a deposit or withdrawal, rejected by a third party. It is unfortunately within the rights of a third-party that oversees your money to restrict your transactions. If you give your money to an intermediary, they often have the express right to block transactions with an online bookmaker.
Credit card companies (especially if you’re in the US) prefer not to deal with sportsbooks and the blurry legal ground they rest on. Many sportsbooks house their centers of operation offshore and store their bettors’ funds in a multitude of banks across the world. Details of this sort will raise the eyebrows of any square financial institution; this is where Bitcoin’s decentralized nature comes in handy.
As mentioned previously, no single party can control Bitcoin transactions. Consequently, Bitcoin transactions do not have to pass through any third party. The authorization of Bitcoin transactions—purchases, withdrawals, or deposits—are only subject to the mathematical proofs of the blockchain.
Arbitrary restrictions imposed by a bank or credit card company will never factor into a Bitcoin transaction. You can acquire, hold, and spend Bitcoin in whatever manner you see fit, with a guarantee of anonymity; this is a benefit you won’t get with traditional payment methods.
3. Bitcoin’s Security Is Top-Notch
Engineered with financial security in mind, Bitcoin has built-in protections against identity theft, fraud, and any malicious third-party infringement. The only time you’ll ever have to give away any part of your identity is when you purchase Bitcoin at an exchange. When you send Bitcoin to your sportsbook, your sportsbook does not receive any of your personal financial information.
If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable providing a sportsbook with personal information (i.e. a copy of your utility bill, a driver’s license, etc.) then Bitcoin is the payment method for you. Sportsbooks will never require you to verify your personal information to match your bank account when you use Bitcoin; all you need is a unique Bitcoin address and private key. No more phoning your bank, credit card company, or sportsbook customer service; no more inconvenience! With Bitcoin, you only give your sportsbook randomized pieces of a cryptographic protocol.
Of course, all the sportsbooks we recommend are of the highest quality. We pride ourselves in only pointing you to sportsbooks that you can rely on for safety, efficiency, and seamless overall user experience. That being said, it’s impossible to know what’s going on internally at a sportsbook; things can often change very quickly.
We have had to blacklist sportsbooks in the past for failing to maintain a reputation for consistent customer service and financial safety. Financial criminals tend to target any online location where money changes hands, including sportsbooks. Credit card and bank information can be exploited if it falls into the hands of dangerous actors.
With Bitcoin, you are not sending sensitive information across the web, and it is impossible for hackers to subvert a Bitcoin transaction.
If concerns over security are paramount for you, Bitcoin should be your currency of choice.
4. Bitcoin Transactions Have Lower Fees
Are you sick of traditional banking and credit card fees? Handling fees, currency conversion fees, transfer fees, escrow fees, and a whole host of other hidden costs are part and parcel of dealing with a third-party intermediary. As we mentioned earlier, Bitcoin’s decentralized nature means that you don’t have to pay for third-party oversight. Instead, you have to pay one fee, and one fee only: the miner’s fee.
What exactly is a miner’s fee? As discussed, the “blockchain” confirms transactions on a public ledger; nodes within the network verify and authenticate Bitcoin moving around within the network. This takes a vast amount of computer power, and those who keep the Bitcoin network functioning are called “miners.” As an economic incentive, a tiny portion of Bitcoin from every transaction is given to the miners. This is the “miner’s fee.”
It is important to note that the no miners receive any part of your personal information, and the blockchain automatically divides up the mining fee among a vast number of unrelated parties.
The sender is always responsible for the miner’s fee and generally gets to decide how much it will be. (The higher the miner’s fee, the faster the transaction will be processed.) So when you send Bitcoin to your sportsbook, you will be responsible for covering this small fee. Your sportsbook will absorb the fee when you withdraw your sports-betting winnings. These fees are minimal and significantly less than those involved with conventional currency.
Bitcoin Has Lower Minimums and Higher Maximums
As mentioned above, the lack of traditional banking costs and third-party involvement with Bitcoin gives sportsbooks more flexibility in their minimum and maximum deposit and withdrawal amounts. When bettors use Bitcoin, their sportsbook does not have to pay fees on deposits, either small or large.
In our research, we found that, on average, deposit minimums are 50% lower with Bitcoin. Similarly, we found that maximum deposits are, on average, 100% higher when using Bitcoin.
5. Bitcoin Transactions Are Faster
Regardless of whether you are depositing or withdrawing at your sportsbook, using Bitcoin guarantees the shortest wait times.
If you are requesting a check or bank transfer, many things can go wrong and slow the process down. Between backups at your sportsbook and extra scrutiny by your bank’s security department, going through a bank can frequently take over two weeks.
Don’t want to wait? Use Bitcoin. We found that the average confirmation time for a Bitcoin deposit was 4-6 minutes, and most sportsbooks will let you begin betting before your transaction officially cements itself on the blockchain.
In our trials, the longest wait time for deposit confirmation by a sportsbook was 40 minutes. Keep in mind, this is still much faster than going through a bank.
Bitcoin withdrawals are not as fast as deposits, but they are still swift in comparison to traditional banking methods. Our test runs took between 1 to 48 hours. The most common withdrawal time was four hours, which is very rapid by all standards. Withdrawing via regular currency often takes more than 300 hours from start to finish.
Bitcoin Sportsbooks Common Features
Before you choose a site from our list of safe Bitcoin sportsbooks, you should focus on the details of the fine print. Each site is slightly different, and those differences may render one better suited to your needs than the rest. But when it comes to Bitcoin, they also share certain similarities across the board, including the following.
Bitcoin to USD Conversion at Your Sportsbook
All the sites we recommend above convert Bitcoin to USD instantly upon deposit. Additionally, they will switch your USD into Bitcoin at the time of withdrawal. Safe Bitcoin sportsbooks do this to protect you from Bitcoin’s volatile price action.
“Miner’s Fees” and Your Responsibility
When we stipulate that Bitcoin withdrawals and deposits have no fees, we are not including “miner’s fees.” As we outline in our definitive Bitcoin guide, “miner’s fees” are always the responsibility of the sender. So they’re your responsibility during deposits and the sportsbook’s responsibility during withdrawals. Read here for more information on “miner’s fees” if you still have questions.
Will Safe Bitcoin Sportsbooks Place Betting Restrictions on You?
Not the ones we recommend. Some safe Bitcoin sportsbooks may place betting restrictions on you, but none of the ones in our top-five list do so. Every Bitcoin sportsbook we advocate will allow Bitcoin users to freely wager on the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAAB, and NCAAF just like any other bettor.
How to Use Bitcoin at Sportsbooks
Depositing and withdrawing with Bitcoin can seem complicated at times. We’ve got your back, as we outline the subtleties and nuances of the entire process of Bitcoin sports betting.
It is important to note that every sportsbook we recommend on our top 5 list will convert your Bitcoin to USD after your deposit. As a result, you will place all your bets with USD. When you decide to withdraw your winnings, your winnings will be converted back to Bitcoin from USD and sent to your Bitcoin wallet. This protects bettors from Bitcoin’s volatile price action.
How Do You Deposit Bitcoin at a Sportsbook?
- Enter your login information.
- Click on the “deposit” or “cashier” section.
- Choose Bitcoin as your method of deposit.
- Enter the amount of Bitcoin (converted to USD) that you wish to deposit.
- Double check for any Bitcoin bonus codes. If a bonus code is required, make sure to enter it correctly.
- Click “deposit” once you have decided how much you want to deposit.
- A screen will present itself with a unique transaction ID, the amount you chose to deposit (converted to Bitcoin), the Bitcoin exchange rate, a Bitcoin address, and a scannable QR code.
- Either scan the QR code or copy/paste the address into your Bitcoin wallet.
- Enter the amount of USD or Bitcoin (whichever method your wallet uses) you want to deposit. Be certain that this amount matches what is presented on the corresponding screen at your sportsbook.
- Your wallet client will present you an option to send a high or low miner’s fee. We recommend sending the higher one, as it will get your funds to your sportsbook quicker.
- Sometimes the price of Bitcoin will change between the time you send your deposit and the time your transaction is confirmed. If the price goes down, you will take a minor hit in the amount you have available to bet with. If the price goes up, you will have more available credit.
- As we mentioned earlier, nearly every sportsbook that we review will convert your Bitcoin into USD upon deposit. As a result, your ensuing bets will be placed in USD. But you will still be able to withdraw in Bitcoin.
- When your deposit is verified at your sportsbook, they will send you a confirmation email.
- Refresh the page after receiving the confirmation email and you will be ready to begin betting. Your balance will be visible somewhere near the top of the page when you are logged in at your sportsbook.
- As we mentioned earlier, the whole deposit process usually takes between 4-6 minutes. The maximum time it will take is 40 minutes. If you encounter any hiccups, contact your sportsbook’s customer service department.
How Do You Withdraw Bitcoin from a Sportsbook?
The process of withdrawing Bitcoin from a sportsbook cashier into your Bitcoin wallet is much the same as the deposit process.
Follow these steps:
- Enter the “cash out” or “withdrawal” section of your sportsbook.
- Click “Bitcoin.”
- Enter the amount, converted to USD, you would like to withdraw from your sportsbook.
- You will be taken to a page that features a unique transaction ID number, the amount (converted to USD) you plan to withdraw, the Bitcoin exchange rate, and a blank box for your Bitcoin address.
- Enter your Bitcoin wallet client, and copy/paste the Bitcoin address that your sportsbook should send the funds to. Bitcoin transactions are immutable once underway, so make sure to double check that your address is correct.
- Click “confirm.”
- Your sportsbook will take you to a new page, informing you that your Bitcoin withdrawal is underway.
- Sometimes, the price of Bitcoin will have changed between the time you withdraw and the time it takes to receive the funds. If the price goes down, you will take a minor hit in the amount you receive. However, if it goes up, you will receive more Bitcoin.
- Some sportsbooks charge a flat withdrawal fee, regardless of the payment method you select. Should you be charged a withdrawal fee, it will not have anything to do with Bitcoin itself; instead, this money goes towards the high costs of running a secure, reliable e-commerce platform.
- It will take between 1-48 hours for you to receive your Bitcoin.
- Once you receive your Bitcoin, your sportsbooks will notify you via email.
Word of Caution: Avoid Bitcoin Exchanges
We recommend always using a Bitcoin wallet to send funds to your sportsbook instead of a Bitcoin exchange. Wallets, unlike exchanges, are not subject to the pesky “anti-money-laundering” and “know-your-customer” regulations that Bitcoin exchanges must follow. If you use a wallet, sending Bitcoin to your sportsbook will go without a hitch.
We have come across reports of online exchanges, such as Coinbase, restricting Bitcoin transactions with sportsbooks. While exceedingly rare, there are reports of online exchanges freezing their customer’s accounts if they try to send funds to an online sports betting site.
If you do decide to send Bitcoin from an exchange to your sportsbook, you don’t risk losing your Bitcoin forever. You only risk the exchange freezing your account, which would require you to transfer your Bitcoin to a separate wallet in order to complete the desired transaction. Avoid this hassle by setting up a Bitcoin wallet from the get-go.