Last year, global digital wallet solution PayPal announced that it would launch a service for cryptocurrency payments. Considering the increase in virtual currency adoption over the past half-a-decade, few can be surprised by this. 

The launch of its crypto services has got many players and gambling stakeholders speculating on what this means for the industry. Could more payment service providers that accept gambling transactions open up to cryptocurrency?

This article will look at PayPal’s Bitcoin approach, plus how you can bet with the cryptocurrency online. 

What has PayPal done with Bitcoin? 

In October 2020, PayPal announced that it would allow buyers in the US to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies with their accounts. 

The company said that it would be possible for customers in the UK at some stage during the first half of 2021. The same is true for a selection of other markets. 

PayPal has also introduced solutions related to other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum.

Though PayPal’s adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is a big step forward, its capabilities are still limited. At the moment, cryptocurrency cannot be used as a funding source for online purchases. Moreover, customers cannot send Bitcoin via PayPal to other users. 

Can you gamble with PayPal using Bitcoin? 

PayPal permits gambling transactions to a certain extent. 

If you’re betting with an approved merchant, you should be able to use the payment method. Besides the operator site being approved, you must also be based in a jurisdiction where the game you’re playing is legally permitted. 

When betting with an unapproved merchant, or from somewhere that does not legalise any of the following verticals, you cannot use PayPal to bet:

Unless the site or operator has been approved to offer gambling transactions through PayPal, the company’s policies state that you cannot make transactions using PayPal for any of the following: 

  • Sports betting; 
  • Games of chance and games of skill;
  • Casino games; 
  • Horse and greyhound racing; 
  • Person-to-person betting; 
  • Buying lottery tickets; 
  • Gaming machines. 

You are also not allowed to use PayPal for gambling services, such as providing tips and instructions, unless your merchant is approved. This includes: 

  • Using an intermediate party to place bets at offshore betting sites; 
  • Using organised forums where person-to-person betting is facilitated.

All of the above policies must be adhered to whether you live in a regulated or unregulated gambling jurisdiction, and they also apply to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Alternative payment methods to PayPal for Bitcoin 

Skrill is another payment provider to recently enable cryptocurrency-based payments. Owned by Paysafe, the digital wallet announced a fiat-to-crypto service in the first quarter of 2021. The feature is live in the European Economic Area (EEA), and a UK launch is planned for the near future. 

Skrill is popular with gamblers around the world and is accepted at a broad range of gambling sites

Neteller is another payment method popular with gamblers. Like Skrill, it is owned by the Isle of Man-based Paysafe. Like its sister company, Neteller also facilitates cryptocurrencies. You can buy and sell using the platform while also depositing at one of the many sites where it’s accepted. 

Which websites can you bet on using Bitcoin? 

While Bitcoin is still in its early days and hasn’t been widely adopted at the time of writing, few online casino sites allow payments of this kind. 

One popular cryptocurrency betting site to have emerged in recent years is Sportsbet.io. Founded in 2016, the company is an official betting partner for professional football clubs such as Watford and Southampton. On the website, you can place bets on various events around the world. 

For casino gaming, the likes of Casushi and Aspers Casino allow payments with non-fiat currencies. On both sites, you can enjoy a broad selection of table and slots games. 

Crypto acceptance on the rise

PayPal’s acceptance of Bitcoin transactions is a significant development for cryptocurrencies. You can already bet at some websites with the payment option, and the payment provider’s adoption of non-fiat currencies could prompt other providers to do likewise.

Other gambling-friendly solutions, such as Skrill, have also made moves to include Bitcoin in their offerings. With some crypto-only operators already on the market, we might see even more of a player uptake in years to come.