Bitcoin Casinos Warned They Will Need Gaming Licences

Published on Tuesday 7th July 2015, 10:55 am
Posted in: Casino Legal

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Bitcoin casinos and other gaming firms using the virtual currency need to be fully licensed to operate in the UK, according to the Gambling Commission. The Commission has contacted firms that provide Bitcoin gaming to UK players to tell them that, even though the currency is unregulated, the fact that they offer what is deemed “money’s worth” to customers means that they fall under its gambling regulations.

The Gambling Commission is keen to point out that is not making a judgement about the validity or otherwise of Bitcoin, it is merely concerned that some operators are flouting the law by providing unlicensed gambling products. Chief executive officer Jenny Williams said that the Commission was particularly looking for the companies to comply with legislation that prevents criminal activity. The UK government has also expressed an interest in regulating Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency in an attempt to help prevent money laundering.

The warning comes as a man in America, who ran Bitcoin poker site Seals with Clubs, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of operating an unlicensed interactive gaming system in Nevada. Bryan Micon made a plea bargain with prosecutors that will allow him to downgrade to a lesser charge if he completes his probation with no issues. Micon will also pay a $25,000 fine and will lose some of his personal property, including cash and electronics, which was taken from him as part of the case.

Micon fled the country for Antigua in February after his house was raided, but returned last month having become the first person to be pursued for running a gambling site that hadn’t obtained the correct licence from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

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