UK Gambling Commission endorses digital currencies


Don’t be surprised if you see Bitcoin pop up as a new deposit / withdrawal option at your favourite live casino before year’s end.

In a recent update to their License Conditions Codes of Practice, coming into effect 31 October 2016, the UK Gambling Commission (‘the Commission’) has opened the door for operators to use digital currencies as a customer payment method.

Section 5.1 Payment Services, has been amended to include digital currencies as one of the cited examples of cash equivalents.

“Licensees, as part of their internal controls and financial accounting systems, must implement appropriate policies and procedures concerning the usage of cash and cash equivalents (eg bankers drafts, cheques and debit cards and digital currencies) by customers…”

The Commission has in the past been wary of Bitcoin, not allowing UK licensed operators to offer it and even writing to unlicensed operators identified to be accepting the digital currency out of concerns over it’s links to illegal online gambling.

They’re not the only gambling regulator to refuse early adoption of Bitcoin by licensee casinos.

Malta licensed Vera&John introduced Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals in January 2014, only to be told by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority to pull it 3 months later.

Perhaps the LGA and other regulators will now follow the Commission in moderating their stance?

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