Popularity in the crypto-centric casino space has grown significantly over the past few years. Although Bitcoin gambling platforms still dominate market share, Ethereum betting sites are gaining ground year-on-year. One of the key reasons for this is that the underlying Ethereum blockchain is more conducive for the high throughput that online casino platforms require. In other words, the Ethereum blockchain not only facilitates faster transactions, but it has the capability to process more per second.
Nevertheless, in our Ethereum Betting for Beginners guide we will explain everything you need to know. This will include a discussion on how Ethereum betting platforms work, and why they are more advantageous to the player in comparison to real-world ‘fiat’ casinos.
What is an Ethereum betting platform?
In its most basic form, an Ethereum betting platform is an online casino that specialises in Ethereum deposits and withdrawals. In some cases, the platform might support other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ripple, although its main target audience are those that are holding Ethereum.
As we will discuss in more detail further down, Ethereum betting sites function in the very same way as a traditional casino. By this we mean you still have access to each and every game that you would expect to find at a conventional fiat platform. Whether its table games such as blackjack and roulette, slots, video poker, or even sports betting, you will all-but certainly find it at an Ethereum casino.
However, there are some clear differences that set Ethereum betting sites apart from their fiat currency counterparts. This includes instant deposits and withdrawals, the ability to gamble anonymously, lower house edges, and significantly higher welcome packages. We will explore these benefits in more detail in the section below.
The registration process at a fiat casino
First and foremost, there is a significant difference in the way that Ethereum casinos facilitate the account opening process. Before we explain why, let us take a quick look at the typical process of opening an account with a traditional fiat casino.
Opening an account with a traditional fiat casinos
When you first attempt to register, you will need to provide the fiat casino with a full range of personal information. Much like opening a bank account, you will need to give your full legal name, registered home address, date of birth, nationality, and telephone number.
Once you have provided this information, you will then need to verify it. Under domestic and regional anti-money laundering (AML) laws, players are expected to go through a process known as KYC (Know-Your-Customer).
This requires you as the player to upload copies of sensitive documents. At an absolute minimum, this will include a government issued ID, such as your passport or driver’s license. On top of this, you also need to prove that the home address that you provided in your account application is valid. To do this you will need to upload a bank statement, utility bill, or tax receipts.
If you are really unfortunate, the online fiat casino might also ask you to get the aforementioned documents certified by a notary agent. All in all, the process is not only highly intrusive, but a sheer invasion of privacy.
Opening an account with an Ethereum casino
The account opening process is significantly different to that of a fiat platform. When you first register an account, Ethereum casinos will usually only ask you to provide your email address. This is in the event that the support team need to contact you, or you forget your login credentials. Other than that, all you will need to provide the platform is a username and a strong password.
Unlike the KYC process listed above, such a verification system does not exist in the Ethereum betting space. The key reason for this that AML regulations usually do not include cryptocurrency tokens within the remit of their scope. While it remains to be seen whether or not governments will amend the laws surrounding anonymous gambling at crypto-casinos, at the time of writing, this is standard practice.
As a result of this reduction in red-tape, Ethereum casinos do not ask you to upload countless documents.
A further benefit that Ethereum betting platforms provide is with respect to the deposit and withdrawal process. When you use a traditional fiat casino, you will likely be presented with a number of supported payment methods. The most popular option utilised by players is a debit/credit card deposit.
The reason for this is that most of us have access to a conventional MasterCard or Visa card, meaning that the deposit process is super convenient. However, with the risks of cyber-security an ever-growing concern for consumers, you need to ask yourself whether you would feel comfortable entering your debit/credit card details into an online gambling platform. This is especially true if your card is linked to your primary checking account that you use for everyday expenses.
On the contrary, depositing funds with Ethereum is much safer for the player. Instead of needing to enter sensitive financial information into the platform’s website, you instead transfer the tokens directly from your private wallet. Moreover, when you register with an Ethereum betting site, you will be given a unique wallet address that you can use for your deposits. This means that the deposit process is super transparent.
The good news is that like a debit/credit card deposit, funding your Ethereum betting account with Ethereum tokens is virtually instant. With average Ethereum block times taking little over 16 seconds, your Ethereum casino account is usually credited on 1 confirmation.
The withdrawal process is potentially the greatest benefit to using an Ethereum casino, purely for the speed at which you will receive your winnings back. When using a traditional fiat casino, the withdrawal process is nothing short of cumbersome. Before your withdrawal request is processed by the casino, you need to wait for your KYC documents to be validated. This in itself can take up to 48 hours, and potentially longer if the casino requires additional information from you.
Once your fiat casino account is verified, you will then need to wait an average of 24-48 hours for the casino to authorise the withdrawal request. After they do validate the withdrawal, it takes an average of 3-5 days for debit/credit card payments to show up in your account. Taking all of this into consideration, your first withdrawal can take more than a week before you see the funds.
On the contrary, Ethereum casinos are significantly quicker in returning player funds. In fact, the process is virtually instant. When you make a withdrawal request, the Ethereum betting platform will not install a 24-48 hour pending period. Instead, all withdrawals are processed autonomously, meaning as soon as you make the request, the transfer will be posted to the Ethereum blockchain. As soon as it is, you will likely see the funds back in your personal wallet in less than a minute.
For those unaware, the house-edge refers to the mathematical advantage that online casinos have over the player. This is to ensure that they always make a profit in the long-run. The house edge operates in a slightly different way to land-based casinos, as the process is dictated by the underlying software.
In other words, when software developers create a casino game, they will build the house-edge into the game itself. From the perspective of the player, this is known as the RTP (Return-to-Player). Expressed as a percentage, the RTP illustrates the amount that the game will pay out over the course of time. For example, if you are playing a slot game that has an RTP of 93%, this means that theoretically, the slot game should pay-out $93 for every $100 that goes in.
The reason that the house-edge relates to Ethereum betting platforms is that in most cases, you will find it is much lower in comparison to a fiat casino. You need to remember that fiat casinos have a lot of regulatory red-tape to comply with, which is not only time consuming, but costly. In order to cover their costs, fiat casinos make this back by installing higher house-edges in the games they host.
Lower house-edges at Ethereum betting platforms
Unlike their fiat casino counterparts, Ethereum betting platforms have very little overheads. They do not need to employ expensive compliance departments, nor they do they need to dedicate funds to costly payment teams. As a result of this, Ethereum casinos offer lower-house edges on their games, meaning the RTP is usually much higher.
While you might not appreciate the importance of the house-edge, a percentage point here and there will ultimately increase your chances of winning long-term.
Fairness and transparency
If you have ever played at an online casino and questioned the integrity of the game, then you are not alone. This is one of the greatest pain-points for players, as fiat casinos do not install any transparent safeguards for players to verify the fairness of a game. As a result, you effectively need to trust that the casino is playing fair. This is where Ethereum betting platforms are different.
SatoshiDice – the first-ever crypto-centric gambling game to make its way to the masses, created an innovative protocol known as ‘Provably Fair’. For those unaware, Provably Fair guarantees that casino games are not only true and fair, but legitimate. Without getting too technical, Provably Fair is built in such a manner that it would be impossible for either the casino or the player to predetermine the outcome of a game. Instead, the protocol utilises a random probability that runs in to the billions-to-one.
The great thing about Provably Fair is that the underlying data is available for all to see. This means that players can check how the Ethereum casino determined the outcome of a particular game. This completely revolutionised for the online gambling industry, as for the first time ever, players can gamble without the fear of being cheated.
While we are on the topic of transparency, it is also important to quickly feed back to the deposit and withdrawal process. As all deposits are facilitated via the Ethereum blockchain, this means that it would be impossible for the casino to deny that the payment was made. This is also true for withdrawals, insofar that the casino could not claim to have made a payment if they had not, as you could simply request to see the blockchain transaction ID.
Bonuses and promotions
One of the best aspects to the traditional online casino space is that it is jam-packed with bonuses and promotions. The most lucrative of these are usually in the form of a welcome package. This is where casino platforms offer huge bonuses for those that are yet to open an account. In most cases, this will consist of a deposit bonus, meaning that the casino will match your first deposit up to a certain amount. While this might sound too good to be true, the casino hopes that you will remain on the platform long-term.
Nevertheless, bonuses and promotions are also something that Ethereum betting platforms offer. As we mentioned earlier, crypto-centric casinos have significantly lower overheads to contend with, meaning that they can offer more value to the player. One such way that they choose to do this is by offering highly attractive welcome packages to new players. In fact, it is not uncommon to find an Ethereum platform that offers a first deposit matched bonus that exceeds 1BTC.
If you are still a novice in the Ethereum betting space, here is how a typical sign-up bonus would work.
- An Ethereum casino offers a welcome package that consists of a 100% matched bonus upto 3 ETH.
- You register an account with the Ethereum casino to take full advantage of the promotion.
- You deposit 3 ETH into your newly created account.
- As soon as the deposit is credited, the casino will then credit your account with an additional 3 ETH.
- As a result, your starting balance is 6 ETH, even though you only deposited 3 ETH.
On top of getting a bonus in the form of a welcome package, it is also important to note that Ethereum casinos offer ongoing promotions for existing players. One such example of this is a weekly reload bonus. Most Ethereum casinos will top-up your first deposit of the week, which is often in the region of 50%. For example, if your first deposit of the week is 2 ETH, then the casino will credit you with an additional 1 ETH in the form of a bonus.
The gaming suite
One of the biggest misconceptions about Ethereum betting websites is that they offer less games that traditional online casinos. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, the vast majority of games that you will find at an Ethereum casino are designed and created by the very same software developers that service fiat casinos.
This means that you will have access to all of the same games. In terms of table games, this will include the likes of blackjack, craps, baccarat and roulette. You will often find these games in the form of software and live dealers. Ethereum casinos are also really popular for their extensive offering of slots. This will cover basic 3-reel slots, more interactive slots with features and bonuses, and even jackpot slots that run into the millions of dollars.
If slots are not your thing, then Ethereum casinos also offer a full range of virtual games. This includes dice games, scratchcards, video bingo and even fixed-odds bingo.
Although the sector is still growing, there is also a number of Ethereum platforms that specialise in live poker. Once again, as the underlying costs associated with operating an Ethereum casino are minimal, you will often find that the rake is much lower than a traditional online poker site.
Ethereum betting for beginners: Main Take-aways?
In conclusion, if you have read our guide all of the way through, then you should now have a really good idea as to why Ethereum betting platforms are becoming so popular. No longer do players want to be interrogated with requests for passports or bank statements just to be able to gamble. Instead, Ethereum casinos allow players to get started without so much of a document.
The crypto-casino phenomenon is also attractive for the frictionless deposit and withdrawal process it offers. While it is true that conventional fiat casinos facilitate instant debit/credit card deposits, the withdrawal process is what frustrates players the most. While players are accustomed to a withdrawal process that averages 3-5 days, Ethereum casinos achieve this in less than a minute.
Finally, an equally important factor that is driving seasoned casino players to Ethereum-based platforms is the utilisation of Provably Fair technology. The transparent protocol ensures that each and every gaming outcome is true and fair, meaning that players no longer need to question the integrity of the casino.