Today, Bitcoin has become one of the most famous decentralized monetary coins in the iGaming business. And as usual, speculation and popularity walk hand-in-hand. The question about the lawfulness of digital currency betting controls is not the exception. Administrators who run their online Bitcoin gambling sites, or some other digital web entertainments, are regularly confounded the audience by dubious reviews and equivocal choices of experts about cryptocurrency and its legality. The situation in the United States is even more complicated because, in addition to federal law, each state has the right to determine its own policy in relation to any type of gambling.
The USA, as a single country, was formed relatively late, and therefore many global decisions were made correctly at once, based on the experience of the countries of the old world. However, this didn’t prevent from encountering other problems. Remember how the alcohol Prohibition ended, gambling is about the same situation. Historically, In the United States, any type of gambling was confined all over in this country, besides in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Basically, these territories were “created” for gambling. But such tight restrictions contributed to the development of boardwalk casinos. With the advent of online gambling, underground dealers have gotten significantly more opportunities, but after the appearance of Bitcoin, the situation decisively spiraled out of control.
By the way, let’s make an important note which workers for gambling, online casinos, Bitcoin, and any other activity all over the world:
Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat
So, even if you don’t have the slightest clue about the restriction but take a part in any forbidden actions (for example, betting) it still counts as an illegal activity. And you can be accused of gambling crimes and maybe get a considerable fine. For example, online casinos are prohibited in your state, but you actively play bitcoin blackjack. It’s risky, because in the best case – you can stay without money and in worse, well… In these kinds of scenarios, knowing your rights and the gambling laws of your state can spell the difference between a safe trip home or a one-way ticket to prison.
Gambling through the lens of the law
In most states, gambling, casinos, betting, or any activity in which winning results are wholly or partly dependent on chance are prohibited. However, if personal skill is a key factor in achieving results and victory is awarded to the most skilled competitor, for example, in shooting competition or car racing, then this isn’t considered gambling. (Some activities have special restrictions prescribed by law).
The answer to the question is this game of luck or the game of skill, depending on which of the two elements has the highest influence on the outcome of the game. If chance is more important, then it will be called gambling, and bets on such games will be considered gambling.
|State||State Lottery||Online gambling||Bitcoin gambling|
|Alabama||❌ No||❌ No||❌ No|
|Alaska||❌ No||❌ No||❌ No|
|Arizona||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Arkansas||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|California||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Colorado||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Connecticut||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Delaware||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Washington, D.C.||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Florida||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Georgia||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Hawaii||❌ No||❌ No||❌ No|
|Idaho||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Illinois||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Indiana||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Iowa||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Kansas||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Kentucky||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Louisiana||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Maine||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Maryland||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Massachusetts||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Michigan||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Minnesota||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Mississippi||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Montana||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Nebraska||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Nevada||❌ No||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|New Hampshire||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|New Jersey||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|New Mexico||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|New York||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|North Carolina||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|North Dakota||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Ohio||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Oklahoma||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Oregon||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Pennsylvania||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Puerto Rico||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Rhode Island||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||N/A|
|South Carolina||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|South Dakota||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Tennessee||❌ No||✅ Yes||N/A|
|Oregon||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Utah||❌ No||❌ No||❌ No|
|Vermont||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Virginia||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Washington||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|West Virginia||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Wisconsin||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
|Wyoming||✅ Yes||❌ No||❌ No|
As we can see from the table there are some forms of gambling that are currently considered legal in most states, but they are still highly regulated and bitcoin gambling not one of them. Thus, most private betting clubs, although widespread, are often still considered as “grey” businesses because behind the curtain of legal activity, they often hide a much larger assortment of illegal games for the best customers.
For example, bookmaker pools, small poker clubs, and fantasy football leagues have to be considered legal activities. However, such activity online is strictly prohibited. But who cares? Many people don’t pay attention to it. And some of these small businesses will be in violation of gambling laws such as the UIGEA by moving their business online. Usually, it’s happened because illegal operators either don’t understand what is the gambling law or because they are simply not aware of the legal restrictions of online gambling.
Legitimate Gambling with BTC
Now when we consider the problems with gambling and online gambling, let’s move to crypto. Particularly because of digital currency appearing everything turned into a mess and that is why the government is now investing a lot of effort and money to bring the industry back under control.
According to RewardExpert, in the United States, 80% of grown-up people have known about digital currencies, like Bitcoin. But just 10% have bought some of them. It is believed that this 10% is quite a relative indicator since even those who invest their money in Bitcoin, have problems with “crypto education”. Because of an absence of knowledge, half of the persons who were interviewed said that they don’t confide in digital money. Americans perceive Bitcoin as a speculation or investment tool rather than an ordinary currency.
Unfortunately, the general environment is also not conducive to the improvement of the situation. The bitcoin-dollar rate is often the “victim” of informed speculation, remember at least the recent Elon Musk trick… For the authorities, cryptocurrencies, are also incomprehensible objects and it’s not clear how correctly to write laws for them. Federal regulations continue to change with regards to cryptocurrencies, and with state laws, everything is even more ambiguous. Some states have welcomed the opportunity to pass laws encouraging cryptocurrency and altcoin use, while others have been more hesitant to address digital currency.
Well, let’s bring a little clarity to this mess. Betting with Bitcoin is totally legitimate given you are inside all rules as expressed by government and neighborhood law. There are definitely no laws that explicitly target Bitcoin as an illegal method of payment. If you will use a Bitcoin wallet to make installments with an endorsed site and aren’t participating in criminal behavior or purposely overstepping the law, everything will be okay.
Also, for easier use of Bitcoins, we recommend doing this in those places where the “atmosphere favors it”. Lower is information about states with the highest measure of interest in digital currency (based on Bitcoin ATMs per capita).
Bitcoin-friendly US states
We have selected states according to the factors that investors usually take into account, including infrastructure, regulation, and weighted average favor of market makers.
California, more than others, is trying to endeavor digital currency investors. And as showed Bloomberg’s research of jobs opportunity in the USA market they succeeded in it. The largest shares of total crypto hires specialists this year were on side of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Actually, the famous digital crypto trades like Kraken and Coinbase are settled in San Francisco, but Coinbase plans to close its San Francisco headquarters next year (in 2022) and let employees continue to work remotely, this is by the way. The Crypto Head appreciated The Golden State by high marks and give it the title of most crypto-ready state in the USA. California has more crypto ATMs than elsewhere in the country – 2,473 and online crypto-trading actively also on the highest level in the country.
But this year everything can change. The state government has created a new department – the Office of Financial Technology and Innovation. It’s can change the rules of the game. A newly minted department has to support customers’ rights and encourage the creation of new workplaces as well as a crackdown on unhelpful pointless crypto activity. What means under the “unhelpful pointless crypto activity” is not clear and that sounds disquieting.
Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez, and Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, are both championing Florida’s crypto credentials. Most recently, DeSantis proposed the state accept crypto payments toward certain state taxes. Suarez has promoted MiamiCoin (MIA) — crypto created by a company called CityCoins that gives 30% of its revenue to Miami. Suarez wants to use the yield from the coin to pay a dividend to Miami residents, amongst other things. The mayor is also already collecting his wages in Bitcoin and is pushing hard to make Miami a crypto hub. So if Florida’s cryptocurrency laws are still in need of improvement, then the government is clearly on the side of digital coins.
Wyoming doesn’t have so much preference and regalia as California. But it has probably the most crypto-accommodating laws in the United States. It has approved over 20 laws for more convenient doing crypto businesses, including absolving crypto from typical cash handling rules and making crypto exchanges liberated from state charges.
They even provided a new crypto banking contract, which empowered Kraken to open Kraken Financial and now this is the main U.S. crypto bank in the state. One more crypto bank opened in this state two years ago, called Avanti. In addition, Wyoming is the first US state to approve a DAO, consolidating its crypto-friendly reputation. so if it’s not friendly for you then…
Texas is one more competitor for the crypto crown, with pro-crypto laws and low energy costs demonstrating especially interesting to the Bitcoin mining industry. The state is attracting excavators with tax reductions, preparing, and different impetuses. However, there are a couple of worries concerning with Texas energy system. Will it be able to satisfy not a small appetite of miners?
This year, the state passed a few bills to work on the administrative structure for crypto, including one that perceives the lawful status of digital coins and allows banks to provide custody services to cryptographic money.
Bitcoin unfriendly states
With the good comes the bad. While some states welcome Bitcoin with open arms, other local jurisdictions have surged in the opposite direction. Steer clear of the following states if you plan to use cryptocurrency!
North Carolina is the first state on this list to explicitly assign digital currency as a type of installment that is limited and managed. In this state, Crypto traders are allowed to work assuming they are enrolled governmentally, but if you have a large business and want to work with bitcoin, in North Carolina you are not welcome.
Wisconsin has no official laws about crypto, but there are requirements that if you want to transfer digital currency you have to have a transmitter’s license. And the same is North Carolina, the state doesn’t allow you to do business using crypto.
The USA States that Could legalize online bitcoin gambling in 2022
According to gambling laws are controlled at the state level, just around half of America’s states (look here) have officially sanctioned online gambling. The interaction started in 2013 when New Jersey led the way for allowing web-based gambling in the USA. Others, like Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania will catch it up later.
In 2019 and 2020, states like New Hampshire, Indiana, Iowa, and Rhode Island sanctioned legalized online sports betting. Michigan even moved farther and make online casinos and online poker legal entertainment. Unfortunately, any of them are not polite for crypto and particularly for bitcoin. So if we talking about bitcoin gambling it’s not so great news.
With that in mind, here are some of the US States that could be among the most likely to legalese online gambling in 2022 and be politer for bitcoin…
Maryland – historically gambling-friendly. Online sports betting was legalized in this state back in the second quarter of 2020. It was formalized by the Maryland General Assembly after voters approved it in a referendum. Despite the fact that the regulations were developed and approved by the legislature, they still have not entered into force. Nevertheless, land-based commercial casinos can operate smoothly throughout the state.
As for cryptocurrencies, there is still no unified regulation of digital coin transactions. But at the same time, there are no additional conditions and restrictions for those who want to make payments in Bitcoins. So it’s quite possible that Maryland will become another state favorable for playing online bitcoin casinos.
Last April Connecticut governor, Ned Lamont announced the budget for the next two fiscal years (2022-2023), and the budget has already included revenues from the legalization of online gambling. It was estimated the move could generate approximately $47.3 million in revenue by 2023, which the governor proposed could be allocated to the state’s Pledge to Advance Connecticut (PACT) program, used to expand funding for college tuition aid. This is a very correct step, since, on the one hand, it removes prohibitions, and on the other hand, directs money to the right way.
The state crypto-laws system is also very favorable. Connecticut General Statutes treats virtual currency similarly to fiat currency under the Connecticut money transmission scheme. So, as soon as online gambling is allowed in the state, which will happen next year, bitcoin gambling will also be available for Connecticut residents.
At the start of 2022 in the field of bitcoin casinos in the USA, the situation is pretty sad. The main problem arises because of the main benefit of this entertainment – connect online gambling and bitcoin. It so happened that in those states that allow online gambling, a “bad attitude” towards bitcoin. And those who welcome bitcoin are prohibited the online gambling. In such administrative and political units include can be included:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
The only exception is California, and no matter how funny it is, but if you want to play BTC casinos legally, you still have to go in particular state. However, the changes in recent years made the government understand that there is nowhere to go from online games and Bitcoin, and it won’t be possible to ban them just like that. And today, almost all states have either developed or are developing laws to allow both online gambling and Bitcoin. So, in the next few years, the United States may become a bitcoin casino friendly country.
Frequently Asked Questions