Why China’s gamblers will play despite legal issues

6 October, 2018

The status of bitcoin around the world is something that the international community, as a whole, has failed to get to grips with. In some countries, like Japan and South Korea for example, bitcoin is not only legal but it is being used with increasing frequency for any number of day-to-day purchases both online and also in society in general.

In many other parts of the world, bitcoin, like gambling, is legal although it hasn't enjoyed quite as widespread popularity as you see in the two East Asian countries. Many countries are now looking at ways to regulate bitcoin (which in itself, opens up a whole new can of worms) and they are moving towards the process of at least legalizing bitcoin as tender (as it is in Japan), or at least allowing it to be used alongside their domestic currency.

Then there are parts of the world where bitcoins legality is in a somewhat grey area. In Jordan, Canada and India for example, bitcoin is legal to buy and for individuals to use, but there exists a banking ban on bitcoin which prohibits financial companies, currency exchanges and banks from dealing in the cryptocurrency.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are countries that have an absolute ban in place, such as Egypt, Algeria, Iran, Morocco and Bolivia have banned bitcoin completely. Ecuador has gone one stage further, banning bitcoin but deciding to try and introduce its own form of digitized currency in its place - which is most likely doomed to fail.

However, when it comes to China, things are slightly more complicated. We have already discussed in another article, whether Chinese players can play e.g. the MegaMoolah.com slot due to the legal situation of gambling in China, but if anything, the issue surrounding bitcoin services in China is even more complicated.

Bitcoin in China

At the current moment in time, bitcoin is technically illegal in China, however it is a ban that has plenty of loopholes which individuals can use to purchase and use cryptocurrency. In the country, financial firms are not allowed due to regulation to hold or trade in any cryptocurrency and in December 2013, the People's Bank of China prohibited financial institutions from handling bitcoin transactions.

This was followed in April 2014 by an order to stop commercial banks and other companies to close any bitcoin trading accounts they owned within two weeks. Then in September 2017, new regulation banned the use of cryptocurrency exchanges. Then earlier this year, the People Bank of China stated that they would crack down on bitcoin mining, which had been a lucrative way for many Chinese to acquire at least some modest bitcoin wealth.

There has certainly been an onslaught against bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in China over the past five years or so, but most of the legislation has been aimed at large banks and financial institutions, rather than the end user. What this has resulted in, is simply many Chinese bitcoin investors using exchanges and sites located outside of China, for all their bitcoin needs.

Now of course, this operates in a grey area of the law in China and it is incredibly difficult, time-consuming and not financially viable to enforce. As such, many Chinese people are still very active in the bitcoin community, despite its legality in their home country being somewhat dubious.

However, it is not fair to suggest that China is the only country in this situation, there are numerous others where an implicit ban on bitcoin is in place, but which due to the power of the Internet and the options available to people, makes it almost impossible to enforce. Indonesia and Taiwan have similar situations in their own countries. In Vietnam, you can legally trade and hold bitcoin, but not use it as a form of payment, however that could be set to change by a new law change expected by the end of 2018.

Rather like the laws surrounding online gambling in China, which is essentially illegal, but millions of Chinese do it anyway and bet online on sports and casinos based in other parts of the world. The situation regarding bitcoin in China is muddled, to the extent that policing and enforcing any sort of ban on the individual bitcoin customer is almost impossible for the authorities to impose.

How does Bitcoin Casino fit into this?

The Bitcoin Casino is one of the first bitcoin-only casinos in operation that accept payments, deposits and withdrawals only in bitcoin, and is licensed to carry Microgaming game titles. There have been a number of casinos that have taken bitcoin payments in the past (along with other standard forms of payment), but Bitcoin Casino is breaking that mold in the sense that is able to carry the massively popular Mega Moolah jackpot slot.

Of course, as bitcoin is an international digital currency, that means currency-holders from all over the world may be interested in what the casino has to offer and the good news for them is that, you will be able to play a number of top games for the first time ever using bitcoin as your choice of currency.

For example, Bitcoin Casino offers customers the chance to play the famous Microgaming progressive jackpot slot Mega Moolah, which recently set a World Record for the largest ever online slot win, with a win in excess of €19.2 million. The famous slot has been available previously for bitcoin users to play, but only via third party. Now that Bitcoin Casino came along, playing Mega Moolah directly with bitcoin without a middle man is possible.

In addition to that a number of other massively popular games, that grew in popularity at casinos which accepted standard forms of payment, have also been made available to bitcoin users for the first time. That includes a massive catalogue of games (1,200+) from the likes of Microgaming and Net Entertainment, two of the biggest names in slot and casino gaming in modern times.

Alongside the massive choice of slot games, progressives, retro slots and video slots, there is also an extensive range of casino table games and card games available to play such as roulette (American and European versions), baccarat, blackjack, craps and much more. Add to that an extensive range of video poker games and you can see why Bitcoin Casino has gained immediate appeal with bitcoin gamblers.

So despite the dubious legal status of bitcoin and online gambling in countries like China, the fact that it is so difficult to enforce any ban on the Internet or on individuals, means that many Chinese, like many other punters in countries around the world, will likely be looking to spend their bitcoin at the Bitcoin Casino.

In truth, until there is a single unified approach to the use of bitcoin and online gambling around the world, then this will continue to happen in any country that imposes a ban on either bitcoin or online gambling.

Please note that the Bitcoin Casino is not available in the USA, the UK, or Australia. Players from US, UK, AU, can play here.