For the record, the author of this piece is a 30 year old male who came in contact with gambling at a young age and has lengthy professional experience in the field. Cards were a common game with his peers and culturally gambling is very widespread in his home country but where isn’t? He enjoys playing roulette and poker but only on land based casinos or live dealer casinos at worst case scenario. Now that masks are off, let’s dive in.
What is legit and what is dodgy?
A more neutral or inexperienced person would argue that both types of casinos, legit or dodgy, have pros and cons and to an extent this is true. However, I believe that so-called “dodgy” casinos can counter anything more legitimate brands can throw at them. It needs to be pointed out that by “dodgy” I don’t mean casinos which don’t pay players or casinos that rig games. Besides, there are provably fair games for that. I am talking about unregulated casinos which operate a more gray license or even don’t hold one at all but have lengthy presence online adding credibility to their name over the years. By legit I mean the big boys who hold a UKGC or New Jersey license and one can see them advertised on TV. I will analyze why in terms of licensing, gameplay and finance and explain why gray operators are in fact preferable.
It’s important to establish what a license means and what a license does. A gambling or gaming license confirms that a specific casino has been checked, will continue to be checked and operates under the legal supervision of a certain governing body. That can be Curaçao, the Isle of Man, Malta and most countries we know. Some licenses are more strict than others meaning additional security and supervision AKA control. These are harder and more expensive to acquire but add immense legitimacy to the operator and the ability to advertise freely in certain countries. Simultaneously this safeguards the player greatly but also limits him. In many European countries, because of regulation, players aren’t allowed to bet above a certain percentage of their salary. Or it’s possible to not be allowed to play in the casino during certain hours. Unfortunately thanks to players’ protection that entire experience has lost its meaning.
That’s where unregulated brands come in. Some hold gray licenses from Curaçao or Montenegro which in reality don’t mean much more than a PO box registered in those usually tiny countries. These licenses don’t mean much more than holding no license really. Nevertheless they do tie these companies to the government body therefore if a player is really unhappy he can pursue them legally. This creates the perfect power balance. Casinos can bend the rules, which is often something players want, to offer a more fun experience while if needed they can be held accountable. Add to this a proper online research on forums and information sites and you can find the unregulated casino of your dreams. And that’s where crypto stepped in and upped the game. Thanks to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies which increased the value of these players greatly, many people were interested to be involved and now you have numerous very safe options available and if one wishes, 100% anonymous too.
Why should I bother whether I will have to pay tax on the "once in a lifetime" jackpot I just hit? Why should the government keep track of how I am playing? We always play responsibly but it’s first of all us who keep control. And at this point it's worth saying that when it comes to legit crypto casinos like Cloudbet or 7Bit Casino, the only reason they can't get a better license is because few regulating bodies have accepted cryptocurrencies yet. So it's not so much a question of legality but rather a question of approach. Some people still don't like cryptocurrencies.
In this case the bar leans towards regulated brands. The bigger a game's provider is the more legitimate the company is and therefore they will want to partner up with big and law abiding casinos. Moreover, betting picks will probably be better than others
However, this isn’t exactly the case. As the number of crypto casinos rapidly increased, they had to become more creative to compete for an edge in the market. Starting from basic dice sites, they quickly enriched their product with table games and now these old games like dice but including crash, Hi-Lo, Plinko and others have become classic crypto games. You'll now find that fiat or regulated casinos add these same games. Crypto casinos went a step forward adding new features like group chatting for the players. Often being under difficult circumstances forces us to become more creative and it seems this has happened here.
So the way I see it, a meant-to-be big advantage of regulated casinos doesn’t really exist if it’s not a disadvantage. So it seems the balance is leaning clearly towards unregulated brands.
It’s important to now bring up this information to readers. The usage of VPN is usually prohibited from casinos, especially tightly regulated ones. Players aren’t allowed to access and gamble in casinos beyond their based country’s jurisdiction. It’s true that many unregulated casinos will allow the usage of VPNs, sometimes openly sometimes in secre. In this case be very careful as they might allow you to deposit and upon withdrawal right before you take your cash they will request for a proof of ID and they can use it to withhold your winnings.
It’s an important danger and sometimes limitation of unregulated casinos for some players. The best option is to look for available unregulated options. There is always one available in your country. The US has for sure. Or maybe if you have created a relationship with the VIP team they will allow you to keep playing but in secret as let’s be honest casinos can be very griddy.
Finances & deposit options
This is another aspect which like games availability turns against regulated casinos. Both categories offer the main bank cards around the world including American Express, Visa and MasterCard. The important difference is that acceptance rates on regulated casinos are 100% successful while for unregulated casinos you might have to type in your details a couple more times. In both categories you can find alternative payment options like Skrill, Neteller, WePay or Wise. And the same applies for local payment options like Paystack in Nigeria or Apple Pay in California.
The game changes when one brings cryptocurrencies into the picture. Regulated casinos are slowly but very slowly starting to add cryptos in their portfolio. Meanwhile crypto casinos take deposits in twenty different coins including Monero and transactions take minutes to process. Even if someone isn’t into cryptocurrencies, for such things coins are amazingly convenient and will help him or her save time and energy.
If you still need help all you have to do is check our crypto blog for comprehensive guides and with them even a monkey could trade altcoins.
Conclusion & suggestions
So the only reason one would choose a regulated brand is because he doesn’t know about the “dark side of gambling” and its wonders or he is too lazy to break his ancestral tradition of playing the same operator his grand-dad was while fighting the Germans in Europe.
With all the aforementioned in mind and with an overall bias towards crypto casinos, my unregulated or better dodgy casino recommendations are the following:
BitcoinCasino.us is the first one in the list because it offers the most modern product in terms of design, games availability and interface and it’s available for American players. Apparently the road to freedom is crypto and is paved with different coins per game.
Bitcoin Video Casino comes second because while it offers video poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno, slots and dice, all provably fair and with an android app available and with extra coins ZCash, Bitcoin Cash and Dash, it doesn’t offer the same number of games, promotions or coins as BitcoinCasino.us. But if you are a frugal person interested in easy play and anonymity, Bitcoin Video Poker is made for you.
FreeBitco.in combines a faucet with a sportsbook, a lottery house and a casino. It’s also one of the pioneers of the industry with many years in it’s back pocket and I like it cause it keeps it real. Despite how much it has grown over the years the main product has remained the same without losing in performance.
Crypto.Games is my favorite 'cos it has a very minimalistic design and approach offering just one version of each but everything done clearly. On top of that it includes all main game types but also some crypto classics like Minesweeper and all provably fair making it a great choice. Quite a few coins are available too.
Black Lotus Casino is the only hybrid casino in the list taking both fiat and crypto. It holds a Curaçao license, launched in 2011 so pretty safe and I like it because it offers exactly what a casino should be with or without too many options but enough. Also, the “clean” 20% cashback on my first two crypto deposits did play a role.
If someone wants to counter my points or add to them please contact us.