Bitcoin is everywhere now. What was once something for tech geeks and users of the dark web, has found its way into the mainstream. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are heading towards widespread adoption. Bitcoin is accepted as a method of payment by thousands of merchants globally. This includes licensed Bitcoin casinos and betting platforms.
One area where it is not so quick to catch on is the regulatory world. National legislators have dragged their heels in creating laws to supervise the industry. Part of this comes from ignorance of how it works, part comes from fear of the unknown, and a bit comes from not understanding how to approach it. But the Maltese government and the Malta Gaming Authority have taken the proverbial bull by the horns. 2020 could be the year we see the first Bitcoin casinos emerging from this small, but powerful EU Member State.
Licensed Bitcoin casinos in Malta
The MGA doesn’t have any licensed casinos that accept Bitcoin deposits right now, but this looks set to change. The MGA is now accepting applications from online gaming providers who want to use blockchain technology in their platforms. It is also considering applications for platforms to accept virtual currencies for deposits and withdrawals.
The move is the second part of the MGA’s Sandbox Framework Initiative which will explore how crypto-assets can be used on MGA licensed platforms. Since the first phase of the Sandbox was completed, the regulator is accepting applications for further innovations.
The implementation of this framework will run until December 31st, 2021. It was initially designed to run for just 10 months. Due to its success and the interest from industry stakeholders, the government decided to extend it.
Benefit for players
The main benefit for players is that they will be able to play at a Bitcoin casino that is regulated. Previously they may have been using unregulated products which raise concerns over safety and legitimacy. A license from a respected regulator such as the MGA is a ‘stamp of approval’. It gives players a level of assurance that the casino is above board and will treat them fairly.
Benefits for operators
Operators will benefit from licensing as they can be sure they are operating legally and above board. This allows them to enter legitimate contracts with payment providers, open bank accounts, and promote themselves as ethical and regulated.
The Maltese government were one of the first to create and implement blockchain and crypto legislation. The MGA and the Malta Gaming License are considered the ‘gold standard’ of online gambling regulations worldwide. Some of the biggest names in the industry are either located in or hold a Maltese license. The combination of the two is a no-brainer.
The government are progressive and welcoming to innovative businesses and are paving the way for ongoing development in the cryptocurrency industry. Combined with their large iGaming industry, it is the perfect place for crypto gambling entrepreneurs.
Fast Offshore has worked in Malta for the last 14 years and has extensive experience with the MGA and local partners. We are well known and respected for our work in iGaming and have been working with crypto and blockchain since the start. We are able to assist with all advice, guidance, and applications relating to online gambling, and blockchain and crypto in Malta and other jurisdictions. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.