Cryptocurrency’s Changing Role With Legalized Sports Betting
- The rise of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, is coming at a perfect time with the U.S. Supreme Court striking down PAPSA and allowing states to legalize and regulate sports betting.
- Bettors will be able to instantly and freely move money in and out of a variety of sportsbooks thanks to cryptocurrency.
- It’s possible states will have “regional shading,” or inflating a line on a game to take advantage of local support for a team. Cryptocurrency will allow big bettors and syndicates to take advantage of inflated lines.
Not only has the value of cryptocurrency exploded over the last year, it’s also become popular among bettors as both an investment and means to move funds to and from offshore sportsbooks. From an investment perspective, bettors bullish on crypto are integrating coins into their overall portfolios.
But where bettors have really adopted the advantages of crypto is when transferring money between accounts and sportsbooks. As anyone who has embarrassingly struggled spelling “Manila, Philippines” correctly on a Western Union slip knows, sending money to offshore sportsbooks, and getting paid, has always been, well … sketchy.
However, the ability to use crypto has improved these processes exponentially. Most offshore sportsbooks now offer free Bitcoin deposits AND payouts. In addition, it’s easy to move money between whatever crypto wallet you use and sportsbook accounts. As a result, bettors can keep only what they need in sportsbook balances while safely securing the rest of the bankroll in wallets.
If one sportsbook balance is getting low, a few clicks and money is on the way from your wallet. Is one sportsbook balance getting too high for your comfort level? Quickly transfer some of that balance to your wallet for storage or right back out to top off a balance at a different sportsbook.
Now that the Supreme Court has struck down PAPSA, states are able to rule whether they want to regulate and offer sports betting to their residents. Assuming sports betting is, in fact, managed on a state level, the idea of “regional shading” has been floated by many in the industry.
For example, assume the Minnesota Vikings are three-point favorites against the Detroit Lions at most sportsbooks across the country. Sportsbook operators in Minnesota know that Vikings fans are going to bet their team no matter what and shade the line to -3.5. Anybody who likes Detroit but does not live inside the state of Minnesota would be thrilled to get the hook and the Lions off the key number of 3.
An easy way to make this happen is to have someone inside the state of Minnesota place the bet for you, then send you the winnings should it cover. In fact, it’s very reasonable to assume that regional shading will inspire professional bettors to work together (more than they already are), also known as a syndicate, to move money and get down at the best possible numbers available all across the country.
In years past, consistently moving large amounts of money from person to person posed some problems. However, with the rise of cryptocurrency, especially coins such as Monero and Dash that are developed to provide anonymity, syndicates will now have a way to manage that much more efficiently.
We’re just scratching the surface of everything related to legalized sports betting, including regulation, licensing, operators, etc., and cryptocurrency is no different. It’ll be very interesting to monitor how the relationship between sports betting and crypto evolves.