NetBet recently announced that it has become the first U.K. licensed online gambling operator to accept bitcoin payments to its U.K. customers.
As the U.K.’s largest leading betting operator, NetBet has decided to start accepting the digital currency, bitcoin, in an attempt to reach the expanding customer base that uses bitcoin in the U.K., reports gambling news site, Calvin Ayre .
In August, the U.K. Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced that it sees digital currencies as an equivalent to cash that licensees could accept as payment. In a new version of its License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP), it included the recent changes regarding payment-related issues.
It is hoped that this will help boost awareness and increase adoption for digital currencies such as bitcoin across the U.K.
As the use of digital currencies is still relatively new in the gambling industry, bitcoin payment service provider, BitPay, has revealed that it helped NetBet to ensure that they met the UKGC’s regulatory requirements.
According to a BitPay blog , NetBet customers will now have the ability to fill up their online account with bitcoin in a matter of seconds.
This bitcoin checkout option will allow more NetBet users to get back to playing and placing bets with the peace of mind that their transactions won’t expose them to the risk of online payment fraud.
In a move that suggests the changing of the times, the Isle of Man’s Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) and Treasury approved changes to the island’s gambling regulation earlier this year.
Now digital currencies such as bitcoin can be accepted as a cash equivalent, highlighting the U.K.’s position that it sees bitcoin as a form of cash that can be accepted on gambling sites.
However, while the U.K. may be leading the way with the acceptance of bitcoin on gambling sites, other countries are not as forward thinking.
Even though Malta is keen to embrace technological advances such as bitcoin and blockchain, Joseph Cuschieri, the chairperson of the Malta Gaming Authority is reported to have cautioned against bitcoin’s use as he still sees it as a risk.
Yet, with the growth of bitcoin continuing to expand in the U.K. it isn’t surprising that the gambling industry is turning its attention to the digital currency.
If it opens the door to a user base that gives consumers the peace of mind against online fraud, then accepting bitcoin as a payment option seems to be the right choice.
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