Sports Betting and Bitcoin: 6 Things You Should Know

Sports Betting and Bitcoin: 6 Things You Should Know article feature image

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

  • Bitcoin is becoming a popular method for experienced sports bettors to deposit and withdraw from offshore sportsbooks.
  • Using Bitcoin has many advantages, such as free deposits and withdrawals at most sportsbooks.
  • There are disadvantages as well, such as Bitcoin's volatile price fluctuations, that anyone betting on sports must consider.

Whether you’re someone who believes Bitcoin is the future or just another bubble, there’s no denying its growing popularity among both investors and those simply with opinions about it. However, in the sports betting community, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are changing the way both sportsbooks and bettors operate.

Having multiple sportsbooks to bet at, also known as “outs”, is arguably the easiest way sports bettors can improve their winning percentage and/or return on investment due to the ability to shop for the best lines.

Most offshore sportsbooks now accept Bitcoin for both deposits and withdrawals, making it much easier for bettors to efficiently manage their bankrolls across many different accounts.

For those considering Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, here’s a look at both the advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages to Bitcoin when Sports Betting

1. Easy to deposit and withdraw

For anyone who has used traditional funding methods, switching to Bitcoin is likely the biggest advantage on this list. Once you own Bitcoin, deposits and withdrawal requests are just a couple of clicks away. Please note that many sportsbooks will allow you to withdraw with Bitcoin only if you also used it to deposit.

2. No fees

Many sportsbooks require withdrawal minimums and tack on fees when requesting payouts via traditional methods. However, most books process free Bitcoin payouts with lower minimums than other methods.

3. Fund only what you need

Keeping large sportsbook balances offshore can be nerve-racking, but Bitcoin allows bettors to keep only what they need at each book. Need to top off a sportsbook balance? It can be there very quickly. On a nice winning streak? Peel off some of those profits and send them back to your secure crypto wallet.

Disadvantages to Bitcoin when Sports Betting

1. Volatility

Bitcoin’s value can swing drastically over short periods of time. Some sportsbooks, such as Nitrogen Sports, keep their account balances in Bitcoin as well (as opposed to U.S. dollars). If playing at one of these books, the value of your balance can obviously fluctuate as well. If Bitcoin’s value increases, then you get free money. However, if Bitcoin tanks, so does your bankroll.

Most sportsbooks convert Bitcoin deposits to U.S. dollars, so bettors aren’t at the mercy of changes in Bitcoin’s value. However, whatever percentage of your bankroll is stored in crypto wallets will certainly fluctuate based on current values.

2. Exchange/wallet fees

Sportsbooks don’t charge fees to deposit and withdraw with Bitcoin, but there are fees associated with the purchase and transfer of Bitcoin. The cost of transferring Bitcoin has dropped in recent months, making it an even better option for bettors. However, fees have been high in the past and could rise in the future, so all bettors should research and understand these fees before considering using Bitcoin.

3. Blockchain delays

There can be delays when transferring Bitcoin between exchanges, wallets and sportsbooks, and processing time can vary based on the book and Blockchain traffic at the time of the deposit/withdrawal.