Will Bookmakers Ever Accept Cryptocurrency as a Legit Payment Method in North America?

Cryptocurrency has made its mark on a number of industries, redefining payments and bringing some new industries into the present, and eventually all the way into the future.

One industry, however, that is often on the cutting edge of tech has failed to hop on the bandwagon. The sports betting industry, in North America in particular, has yet to begin accepting cryptocurrency as widely as many may have expected.

According to leading sports betting reviewers in the US, only one betting operator has begun accepting cryptocurrency payments on its sportsbook.

Barstool Sportsbook, the betting product that is affiliated with leading yet controversial sports content outlet Barstool Sports, is the only sports betting operator to accept crypto payments, and only accepts these payments in Virginia and Colorado.

Betting sites listed on sportsbook review websites in Canada include none that accept payments in crypto, with the only exception having been removed on lists due to licensing issues.

The updated lists, that house some big-name international bookmakers from the UK, the US, and Sweden are yet to accept payments via Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other leading cryptocurrencies.

The main question asked about this phenomenon is why. Based on studies, a significant percentage of sports bettors have an interest in cryptocurrency, which suggests that it would be in bookmakers’ best interests to offer this payment method.

Another is that betting and crypto trading are cut from the same cloth. Both activities require calculated risk, investment, and potentially winning or losing money.

While it’s clear that there are significant pros to blending cryptocurrency and sports betting, there are some issues that would arise if these two industries were to become intertwined.

Cryptocurrencies can ensure a greater level of user anonymity, which could lead to players placing bets from locations where sports betting is in fact illegal. This is particularly difficult for countries with grey area bookmaking legislation.

This could then allow the money generated from sports betting to filter out of the market in which the sports bets are being placed.

Another issue, particularly in North American markets is that cryptocurrency is a payment method that a lot of bettors don’t fully understand. Studies have shown that with the Covid-19 Pandemic, more and more bettors have taken to online sportsbooks to place bets.

There is a large percentage of older sports bettors now placing bets online, and a large percentage of these users are not familiar with cryptocurrency, which rules out a large proportion of users to make use of this payment method.

While there are reasons against the implementation of cryptocurrency as a payment method in sports betting, what is clear is that there are hurdles that a lot of sportsbooks are mindful of.

With significant percentages of users either using crypto frequently, or not having any understanding of it, sportsbooks in North America should begin offering this form of payment, as it is popular amongst at least some of the users, and those users who don’t have much knowledge of crypto can simply use other payment methods that they have better knowledge of.