Crypto and Sports Betting a Match Made in Heaven

OM Staff

Monday, April 1, 2019 2:55 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 1, 2019 2:55 PM UTC

Pros and Cons of Crypto Sports Betting Platforms

<p>Even where sports betting is legal, the legacy banking system is not always a match made in heaven when it comes to moving funds to and from sportsbooks. High fees, slow transfers, account closures and chargebacks are a few things that both players and sportsbooks have to deal with. Today a lot of sportsbooks accept payments in bitcoin, litecoin, dash, and other cryptocurrencies. Let´s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using crypto at sportsbooks.</p><h2>Speed</h2><p>Compared to a bank transfer and some other payment methods crypto is fast. Depending on the sportsbook and cryptocurrency used it can take between 10min and one hour for the payment to go through. Crypto doesn't sleep, you can use it 24/7 and 365 days a year. If you want to get funds to a sportsbook on the weekend, this might be the most viable option.</p><h2>Fees</h2><p>While the speed itself might not be faster than Skrill or Sofortüberweisung, the fees with deposit or withdraw typically are. Each cryptocurrency blockchain has transaction fees. They can vary from a few cents to a few dollars. The blockchain transaction fees are not set in stone and can also be adjusted by you depending on how urgent the payment is. For example if you really need a payment to go through as soon as possible then you should use the highest payment that the wallet suggests, however, if it is ok if the payment takes a little while then you can set a low fee and your payment will still get there, it just might take a while. Think of transaction fees similar to tipping someone for a faster service. In addition to transaction fees, sportsbooks often charge a deposit or withdraw fee depending on the method used. Typically, there is no extra fee charged by sportsbooks for deposit or withdrawal with crypto, compared to wire, skrill, xy or z.</p><h2>Traditional vs. Bitcoin Sportsbooks</h2><p>There are two basic types of sportsbooks that accept crypto. Traditional sportsbooks that use it as a payment method. When your bitcoin, litecoin, dash or other crypto is deposited then it is automatically converted into fiat value (USD, GBP, EUR, etc). Then there are the so-called "Bitcoin Sportsbooks“, where everything is 100% crypto. For example, not only can you deposit and withdraw in bitcoin or crypto, but the bet amounts are also denominated in crypto as well. There are no dollar, sterling or euro signs to be found on the entire website. Both have their risks and rewards.</p><h2>Withdraw Speed</h2><p>Although the traditional sportsbooks accept crypto deposits quickly, the withdraws can take longer. Some sportsbooks take 48-72 hours to process a withdraw, regardless if it is with crypto or not, and if you request the withdraw on the weekend then it might even take longer. On top of this, most of the traditional sportsbooks have a limit on how many withdraws and the amounts that you can withdraw each week. Most crypto only sportsbooks withdraw anywhere from instantly to 24 hours and you can do it as often as you want even with small amounts. Depending on if you prefer keeping your funds at the sportsbook or withdrawing after every win, the freedom to do so is there if you use a crypto sportsbook.</p><h2>Currency Risk</h2><p>Of course, if you have deposited with a crypto only sportsbook you are open to the volatility of the crypto market. As I am sure you know, it is extremely volatile. In the crypto scene, there is a saying to describe this double risk. "we like to bet while we are betting“. You are betting that the price will stay the same or go up, as well as your bet itself. For some, this might already be too much, but if you already thought it might be interesting to get exposure to the crypto market it could be a good chance for you to stack up some crypto in your wallet. Limiting players Everyone has heard the horror stories of sportsbooks limiting players or totally banning them. With most traditional sportsbooks this is always a risk, however, with crypto sportsbooks this typically does not happen. The large majority of crypto sportsbooks do not limit players and invite high volume bets. In addition, there are very few crypto sportsbooks that have a negative rollover affiliate program and most simply payout affiliates based on a % of the total volume. This means that the incentive they show the affiliates reflects the business model of attracting a high volume of bets instead of players that lose.</p><h2>The future of sports betting</h2><p>Crypto is currently mostly used as a payment method for sportsbooks. The underlying technology of all cryptocurrencies „blockchain“ can be used for much more than payments. Augur is a decentralized prediction market platform. Imagine something similar to a betting exchange like Betfair but everything from the matching of the bets in the order book to the validity of the outcome is all done in a decentral way without a single point of failure or single counterparty to trust. While interesting it is still in its beginning and at the time of the article, the highest volume markets have about 60 ETH locked up in them, worth about 65,000 USD which in the grand scheme of things is not much.</p><h2>Betterbets BETR</h2><p>Betterbets is a betting exchange that like Augur uses the Etherium blockchain. Similar to Augur all of the bets are peer to peer and there is no commission for winning bets. One interesting feature of Betterbets is the ability to lay bet entire events or sports. Although the volume is not huge it is worth having a look at.</p><h2>Wagerr</h2><p>Wagerr is its own blockchain and the currency is called WGR. It has maybe the highest volume out of any of the decentralized betting projects that exist right now. The project has implemented something called "betting against the chain“. This means that you can place bets and the blockchain itself is the counterparty. If you win your bet, new WGR tokens are minted (mined) to pay out the bet. If you lose your bet then the WGR tokens are burned, they are gone forever. The burning of the tokens might sound strange, but it is to incentivize people to hold WGR with the theory that in the long run more will be burned than minted and this will create a deflation that will push the price of WGR up. You make the bets from the desktop wallet or mobile app and there are very sharp odds offered so it is worth a look.</p><h2>Crypto Hype or Here to stay?</h2><p>After over ten years of crypto, it is clear that crypto is here to stay. The only question is how fast it will be implemented into how many sportsbooks. Blockchain technology is already making an impact and will lead to more transparency, more efficient markets and in the end better odds. The only question is when are you going to get on the crypto train?</p>
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