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What is a Crypto Gambling License?

Government currency sportsbooks and casinos require a license to obtain bank accounts and payment processors, but cryptocurrency removes this barrier to entry. This is the only real difference between government currency licenses and crypto gambling licenses.

Regulatory bodies should still check various aspects of the crypto gambling site, including:

  • Security of user funds
  • Fairness of gambling software
  • The ability to pay out wins
  • Acting in a fair and honest manner

Any crypto sportsbooks or casinos found to be violating these areas will likely have their license revoked.

Which Licenses Do Crypto Gambling Sites Have?

If you want to quickly see if a crypto sportsbook or casino has a gambling license, you can scroll to the bottom of their home page. There will be a logo displaying the regulatory body and a link to verify that the license is valid.

At the time of writing, the majority of crypto gambling sites that we’ve reviewed hold a license from Curaçao. We’ve covered some of the most popular, so buckle up and let us walk you through key points of each of them.

Curaçao

Curaçao is the first choice for virtually all crypto gambling sites as it’s quick, cheap and easy to obtain. The whole process from applying to getting the Curaçao stamp of approval takes 2 – 3 weeks. There’s a fee for entities holding this license, and a complete fee table will be provided to them, upon their request.

🔹 Many people see the Curaçao license as the bare minimum. This is because the licensing agency doesn’t care what the license holders do, rarely checking in on them or following up.

🔹 The Curaçao license prohibits people from Curaçao gambling at that establishment, a fact that kind of speaks volumes about the lack of safety and security that it provides.

🔹 The Curaçao license does come with a set of restricted countries, and these countries are set out by the Curaçao license.

🔹 Sportsbooks and casinos with the Curaçao license should comply with the list, but many will often throw caution to the wind and allow you to play from these restricted countries to deposit, play and withdraw.

They will only come down on players who kick up a fuss, so if you don’t tell anyone you’re in a restricted territory, comply with all requests and don’t break any rules, you can play from just about anywhere in the world.

The Curaçao license is supposed to prevent players from the following countries:

  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • Curaçao
  • France
  • The Netherlands
  • Saba
  • Statia
  • St. Maarten
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America

Any country not on this list is considered fair game by the Curaçao license. Some sportsbooks and casinos will accept players from a few of the more “relaxed” countries on this list, but it all depends on that particular sportsbook or casino’s appetite for risk.

✔️Pros of the Curaçao license:

  • Often relaxed KYC

❌Cons of the Curaçao license:

  • No real protection for players
  • Few gambling establishments follow the rules
  • Nothing to lose attitude from betting sites
  • Limited background checks for license holders

Malta

Malta is a well-known tax haven, harboring a great deal of the government currency sportsbooks and casinos. With the rise of cryptocurrency gambling, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) set its sights on drawing in the crypto-gambling crowd.

Offering lucrative tax incentives and unfettered access to European markets, the Malta license used to be regarded as one of the best crypto gambling licenses around. However, the Malta license has come under increased scrutiny a few years ago following a string of allegations.

Former MGA CEO, Heathcliff Farrugia, conspired to obscure glaring breaches in anti-money laundering policies at Tumas Group casinos, owned by domestic terrorist Jurgen Fenech. Additionally, Malta-licensed RaiseBet24.com was proven to have laundered $74.2 million for the Cosa Nostra.

🔹 The Malta license costs around €30,000 in one-time fees. Yearly fees are exorbitant, capping out at nearly €800,000 for crypto gambling sites with the highest turnovers.

🔹 The application process can take up to 6 months.

This is why you won’t see many crypto gambling sites with the Malta license as it’s too expensive and too much work for a bit of paper that carries no real weight or protection for players.

Throw in all the corruption and scandals surrounding the license and you can see why the Malta license doesn’t have any real benefits for you as a player at a crypto gambling site.

✔️Pros of the Malta license:

  • Widely accepted in Europe (for now)

❌Cons of the Malta license:

  • History of abuse from gambling companies
  • No real protection for players
  • Lax supervision of companies
  • High cost

Costa Rica

Only a few gambling sites have decided to call Costa Rica its home for licensing purposes. There is no gambling license available in Costa Rica, even though gambling sites claim they’re licensed there.

🔹 It costs prox $10,000 to get your hands on a “license”, which is actually a company registration, and the only requirement is that you have an “office” in the country.

This can be a beach house, a PO box or an outhouse you rent from a local.

🔹 In return, gambling entities are blessed with the freedom to do anything they want. If you wish to complain, you’ll never get a reply as Costa Rica doesn’t have a body to oversee the online gambling industry.

🔹 The “license” that gambling sites claim to have is more of a self-awarded accolade that sportsbooks and casinos stick on their sites to show that they have paid the fees to incorporate in the country.

Local banks don’t like to accept money from gambling-related businesses, so gambling sites that accept government currencies all use off-shore bank accounts. In return this allows them to use all sorts of tax loopholes to cut the payable tax down to a minimum.

This doesn’t mean that companies with this “license” are going to abuse you as a player, but it does leave you with your back up against a wall should something negative happen.

❌Cons of the Costa Rica license

  • No regulatory body to oversee the industry
  • No protection for players
  • It’s not a license

Montenegro

Montenegro has been issuing gambling licenses since 2012, with relatively few scandals. Obtaining a license costs around $390,000 and is a straightforward process.

Crypto betting establishments follow the same rules and regulations as a government currency casino.

As a result, crypto gambling sites with this license are subject to comply with the following rules:

🔹National Anti-Money Laundering Regulations

🔹Unusual Transactions Act

🔹Counter-Terrorism Financing Regulation

🔹Know Your Customer Policies

If you make a complaint to the regulatory body in Montenegro, a thorough investigation will take place and you should receive an outcome within a few months.

As far as crypto gambling licenses go, that’s a lot of security and personal assurance to help you sleep at night.

✔️Pros of the Montenegro license

  • Proactive government body
  • Player protection
  • Policies in place
  • Account for winnings verified and maintained

❌Cons of the Montenegro license

  • The intrusion of privacy with AML and KYC procedures

Are Crypto Gambling Licenses Important?

🔹 Since crypto sportsbooks and casinos can use their wallets, there’s no real need for the license as banking and payment providers are removed from the equation. So, when it comes to picking a new crypto sportsbook or casino to play at, it might be worth ignoring any licenses that the site has.

🔹More often than not they provide no real protection for you as a player, and a lot of sites break the rules anyway.

🔹 They’re simply there to give you peace of mind and open doors to quasi-regulated gambling markets.

You’re more likely to be asked to complete some form of KYC at a licensed crypto sportsbook or casino, taking away any privacy and anonymity that you have by using crypto.

🔹There are numerous trustworthy, reliable, and top-quality unregulated crypto sites out there, such as NitroBetting and SwC Poker. These are 2 of the longest-running and most trustworthy crypto gambling sites, with lots of years of operation, and no scams or mistreatment of players.

🔹Casinos that offer live casino games are usually required to have a license to comply with the live casino provider’s requirements. Licenses are also required by white-label sportsbooks and casinos.

These companies give sportsbooks and casinos all the technology, back office systems and games, with the company that will run the individual betting site simply throwing on their colors and staffing it.

🔹 The license is only required to cover the white-label provider’s backs, rather than protect you as a player.

🔹Instead of choosing the best crypto casinos based on licenses, pick a site of the highest overall quality with the best user experience that provides what you value.

To help you choose the site that would meet all of your requirements. you should check our page dedicated to the

We’re going to take a look at the most common cryptocurrency gambling licenses and their impact on your account balances and privacy.

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A pro gambling writer since 2015, immersed in the world of crypto since 2016. I've built up a wealth of knowledge and experience in both crypto gambling and crypto betting, making me one of the most prominent voices in the industry.

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Facts Checked by Maryam Jinadu