Whether it’s banking, cross-border transactions, automated insurance, or decentralized energy – the Ethereum blockchain has the potential to revolutionize most processes as we know them today. However, one industry in particular – the multi-billion dollar online gambling space, is slowly but surely flexing its crypto-muscles. By this, we mean gambling sites that facilitate deposits and withdrawals in the form of Ethereum are growing in popularity year-on-year. This makes sense – especially when you consider the near-instant deposits and withdrawals that Ethereum casinos facilitate, as well as an account opening process that requires no personal information or ID. With that said, if you’ve previously only punted at a traditional fiat casino site, you might be wondering how Ethereum gambling actually works. If so, then we welcome you to read our ultimate guide on Ethereum Gambling for Noobs.
What is Ethereum?
Let’s start by getting the basics out of the way. In a nutshell, Ethereum is a blockchain project that was launched in 2015. Much like its Bitcoin counterpart, the blockchain allows users to send and receive funds in a decentralized manner – which it does through its native ETH token.
Ethereum offers a number of benefits over Bitcoin. This includes a transaction confirmation time of 16 seconds, against the 10 minutes that Bitcoin takes.
On top of having the capacity to scale more transactions per second, Ethereum allows users to create and deploy smart contracts. This paves the way for trustless transactions between two unknown parties in an autonomous manner.
What is an Ethereum Gambling Site?
As the name suggests, an Ethereum gambling site is merely an online casino that accepts ETH as a deposit and withdrawal method. In most cases, the platform will also accept other digital currencies – such as Bitcoin, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash.
Much like a traditional online casino, you often have access to a gaming suite that consists of thousands of individual titles. This might include multiple variations of table games like blackjack and roulette, as we as slots, progressive jackpots, scratchcards, and video poker.
Some Ethereum gambling sites will also offer a fully-fledged, in-house sportsbook. If they do, you can gamble on your favourite sports at the click of a button – both pre-match and in-play.
Getting Started at an Ethereum Gambling Site
Your first port of call will be to choose an Ethereum gambling platform that meets your needs. After all, no-two casinos are the same, so you need to think about what you are looking for in an operator.
For example, are you looking for a casino site that offers thousands of slots, or are you more interested in live table dealers? Either way, be sure to research the credentials of the Ethereum gambling site prior to signing up.
Once you’ve found a suitable platform, you will then need to open an account.
Opening an Ethereum Gambling Account
If you’re a seasoned online gambler, then you’ll know how the typical account opening process works at a casino. You first need to provide some personal information – such as your name, address, date of birth, and contact details.
At this point of the journey, the online casino has a significant amount of personal information on you – and that’s before you even get to the stage of adding your debit or credit card.
On the contrary, Ethereum gambling sites do not ask for any personal information whatsoever. Instead, you simply need to choose a username and strong password – and provide your email address.
Regarding the latter, this is required in the event you forget your account credentials. The casino will also send you promotional emails, although you can opt-out of this at any time.
NO KYC or ID Documents
Going back to the process required at a traditional online casino, not only will you need to provide heaps of personal information – but you then need to verify it. For example, the KYC (Know Your Customer) process requires you to upload a government-issued iD, as well as a proof of address.
This needs to be a recent copy of a utility bill or bank account statement. In some cases, the casino might ask you to upload a copy of the front and back of your payment card.
Once again, none of this is required when using an Ethereum gambling site. This makes sense when you consider that the casino will not ask you for any personal information when you initially sign up. For those of you wondering how this is legally possible – it all boils down to the underlying make-up of digital currencies.
In other words, as nations states do not view cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as ‘real money’, standard anti-money laundering procedures do not apply. As such, you can gamble with Ethereum online in both an anonymous and legal manner.
When it comes to deposits at a traditional online casino, most players prefer to use a debit or credit card. This is because the funds are typically credited instantly, and platforms rarely charge a deposit fee. However, it is important to remember that adding a debit/credit card to an online gambling site is anything but safe.
Although operators claim to offer institutional-grade security, this isn’t always the case. As such, you always stand the very real risk of having your sensitive card details ending up in the wrong hands.
This is in stark contrast to how the deposit process works at Ethereum gambling sites, as you are required to transfer the funds externally from your private ETH wallet. Once the transfer has been made, the Ethereum gambling site should credit it within 1 blockchain confirmation – which takes around 16 seconds.
Withdrawals work in exactly the same way as depositing funds, but in reverse. For example, you simply need to specify how much you wish to withdraw – alongside the address of your private ETH wallet, and then the Ethereum gambling platform will release the funds.
However, the key point here is that withdrawals are processed autonomously. This means that as soon as you make the request – you should find the winnings in your private wallet in less than a minute.
In the case of traditional casinos, not only do you need to get your ID documents verified before a withdrawal is permitted, but you then need to wait an average of 1-2 working days for the request to be processed. Once it is, a further 1-3 working days is required before the card issuer credits the funds.
Ethereum Gaming Suite
Now that we have covered the fundamentals, we need to explore how the gaming suite works at an Ethereum casino. In the vast majority of cases, most games will have been supplied by regulated software providers. These are gaming companies that service the traditional gambling space with thousands of games. Industry leaders in the space include Microgaming, Playtech, and NetEnt.
This is actually highly beneficial for you as the player, as you can be 100% sure that the games are true and fair. But how? Well, before a software provider can launch a new casino game, it must first get the title checked by a regulated Testing House. Much like the software provider itself, Testing Houses are licensed by key gaming bodies like the UK’s Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority.
With that being said, Ethereum gambling sites will also host what is known as ‘Provably Fair Games’.
Provably Fair Games
The minute you head over to an Ethereum gambling website, you are all-but-certain to see a Provably Fair section. In its most basic form, Provably Fair is a protocol that generates gaming outcomes via the blockchain protocol. It takes a seed from the casino; a seed from the player; which then creates a ‘unique hash’.
In doing so, this determines which way a casino game will play out. For example, if playing Provably Fair roulette, the underlying seeds will generate the ‘winning ball’. You can then watch the roulette ball spinning, as you ordinarily would.
The key selling point of Provably Fair games two-fold. Firstly, the underlying seed cannot be manipulated or amended by either the player or the casino. Secondly, the seed generation process is 100% transparent.
In fact, you can independently verify this for yourself as and when you see fit. This is not possible when playing regulated software games, as gaming data is kept behind closed doors (although it is regularly audited by license issuers).
On the flip side, Provably Fair games are often super-basic in nature – especially compared to regulated software games. This is because the latter has vast resources, so the end-to-end gaming experience is usually better. With that said, Provably Fair is still in its infancy, so we expect the gaming experience to improve in the coming months and years.
Ethereum Gambling Bonuses
As the Ethereum gambling space has become more and more competitive, operators have upped the ante in the bonus department.
For those unaware, when you join a gambling platform for the first time, you will be offered a welcome package of some sort. This might come in the form of a matched deposit bonus, free spins, or even a no deposit bonus.
Here’s a quick overview of how each Ethereum casino bonus works:
Matched Deposit Bonus:
By far the most popular casino bonus offered by operators, this allows you to boost your initial deposit by a certain percentage. In the traditional casino space, a platform might offer you a 100% matched bonus of upto $500. This means that a $500 deposit would yield an additional $500 in bonus funds – taking your starting balance to $1,000.
Although 100% also seems to be the sweet spot with Ethereum gambling sites, it is the sheer size of the bonus that stands out. For example, platforms like FortuneJack and 1xBit are known to offer matched deposit bonuses of upto 9 BTC (ETH equivalent). In real terms, this amounts to a signup bonus of more than $63,000 (based on a price of $7,000/BTC).
Ethereum gambling sites usually offer free spins on top of a matched deposit bonus. For example, the bonus might offer you a 100% matched deposit of upto 5 BTC, alongside 25 free spins. The free spins are then to be used on a pre-specified slot machine title.
Any winnings that you make from the spins will then be added to your bonus balance. For example, if your free spins have a nominal value of $0.50, and you land a 10x prize, the $5 wil be paid in bonus winnings.
No Deposit Bonus
An alternative promotion that Ethereum gambling sites often like to run is that of a no deposit bonus. As the name suggests, the bonus will be applied without you being asked to make a deposit.
As such, you’ll likely find that no deposit bonuses have a nominal value in the region of $5-$20. Although the numbers are small, you are essentially being offered free casino cash – so it’s always worth claiming a no deposit bonus if you find an Ethereum gambling site offering one!
Customer Support at Ethereum Gambling Sites
The final metric that we need to briefly note is with respect to customer support. After all, there might come a time where you need assistance on your casino account. In the case of Ethereum gambling sites, the de-facto support method is usually live chat.
This is because crypto-centric casinos operate on a global nature – so a dedicated telephone support line wouldn’t really suffice. In the vast majority of cases, the live chat facility will operate on a 24/7 basis. In our experience, we find that connection times are usually pretty quick – so you shouldn’t have to wait more than a minute to speak with a live agent.
In summary, if you’re an avid online gambler – Ethereum casino sites should tick most of your boxes. Not only can you deposit and withdraw funds instantly, safely, and conveniently – but you won’t be required to provide any sensitive ID documents.
As such, the phenomenon allows you to gamble in an anonymous environment. Crucially, you will still have access to thousands of traditional casino games from the comfort of your own home. Some Ethereum gambling platforms even offer a fully-fledged mobile app.
The final icing on the cake is that Ethereum casinos offer huge bonuses. Although you will need to meet a set of wagering requirements before a withdrawal is permitted – you’ll be able to boost your starting bankroll by a considerable amount.