For most American online sports bettors, depositing and withdrawing funds is as painful as a visit to the dentist. Western Union is typically one of the more common ways of withdrawing from an online book. This, however, is expensive for the bettor. A sportsbook like Bookmaker can charge up to $100 for a $900 withdrawal via Western Union. Checks are also a method of withdrawing funds. The downside to checks is the fact that most are from foreign countries and need weeks to clear your bank.
The crypto-currency known as bitcoin is being used to solve these problems. Bitcoin is defined as “a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital money. It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, Bitcoin is pretty much like cash for the Internet.” In other words, Paypal without Big Brother keeping an eye on you.
Sportsbooks taking bitcoin for payment have started cropping up like mushrooms after a rain. Good news for bettors who like line variety. Bad news for bettors who know what sports books are trustworthy. There is no Better Business Bureau for sportsbooks. For many of these, it is a shot in the dark. A guy living in a basement gets some knock-off sportsbook software, open the doors with a big bonus, and watches the money roll in, all the while knowing he doesn’t have the bankroll to pay out winners.
StakeBTC.com is the latest fly-by-night sportsbook to disappear. StakeBTC was a new book that promised low vig, big bonuses and quick payouts. It didn’t last a month. Other bitcoin books have survived longer. However, most of these books have no long-term future. With little experience, low bankroll, and high degree of anonymity, it is just a matter of time before these sportsbooks take the money and run, closing up shop and leaving customers wondering what just happened.
Anonibet.com is an exception to this rule. Established in 2011, Anonibet is the oldest bitcoin bookmaker in the world. From day one, anonymity was their key selling point. A bettor only needed an email address in order to open an account.
“We do not require any personal detail from our customers thanks to Bitcoin,” says Anonibet on their website. “All we require is a valid email address and a password. Anonibet is just like a corner betting shop that accepts cash and do not record any personal information. But we also bring all the advantages of an online sportsbook with hundreds of markets and thousands of selections, live betting and very soon a top of the line casino and other fun games.”
Bitcoin allows Anonibet to get away with only knowing a bettor’s email address. There is no need for a bettor’s real name or mailing address because payouts aren’t mailed out. Within hours of sending in a withdraw request, the bettor has his money secured safely in his wallet.
Anonibet has shown it is in it for the long haul. They take only bitcoins for payment. They do not offer huge, money-draining bonuses. A few other quality bitcoin sportsbooks have also climbed on board the bitcoin future, combining the professionalism of a well-run internet sportsbook with the ease of bitcoin payments. In theory, these bitcoin sportsbooks are the future of sportsbetting. However, it remains to be determined if these books can overcome the stench left by scam books like Stake BTC.