Mainstream or Niche? The Current Adoption Rate of Crypto Sports Betting in the UK
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Mainstream or Niche? The Current Adoption Rate of Crypto Sports Betting in the UK

Although there’s little room for consistency in our ever-changing world of breathtaking technological developments and constantly shifting trends, two of the hottest and most consistent fads in the past decade are of cryptocurrency and mobile sports betting. The two technologies are often marketed as a sort of get-rich scheme, and the combination of big risks and potential rewards makes for an enticing if nerve-wracking experience.

It’s little surprise that the two arenas often overlap.

A Look at the Numbers

Per Bankrate, about 70 per cent of cryptocurrency buyers and sellers are male; 70 per cent are members of Generation Y (millennials) or Generation Z, and wealthier tax brackets are disproportionately represented among crypto holders. Those same stats apply to sports betting.

A study by Ipsos, a global market research and public opinion firm, says that 39 percent of sports bettors are 35 or younger; 69 percent are male and 44 percent earn a salary of more than US $100,000.

The high-risk, high-reward nature of both sports betting and cryptocurrency means it’s only natural that most of the people who take part in one of them have, at minimum, dabbled in the other. Business owners are not fools. They pay attention to those same studies and adjust their marketing policy in kind. Much like how you’ll see a high volume of commercials for beer and cars during a sports broadcast on television, we are starting to see some of the Best Betting Apps in the UK accept cryptocurrency transactions: some even offer promotional bonuses that prioritize crypto over traditional forms of deposit. Here’s a look at why that is.

Why Crypto?

If you’ve spent any time whatsoever, doing research into cryptocurrency, you are sure to have seen the topic of decentralization come up time and again. It’s one of the major selling points of burgeoning technology, permitting cheaper and faster transactions from anywhere in the world.

Attention spans are shorter than ever, meaning that speed and ease of access are placed at a premium in today’s impatient, always-connected world, and no one wants to have to wait two or three days for transactions to clear like you do with traditional banking deposit methods.

As of right now, most sports books and casinos in the United Kingdom are divided on the issue of cryptocurrency. There are plenty of places and sites where you can place bets using things like Bitcoin—Bovada is one example that offers promotions, especially for Bitcoin deposits, and they take wagers on anything from sports to current events and politics, meaning you don’t have to be the world’s biggest sports fan to get in on the action and make some money.

Other betting operators have taken a more conservative approach to the industry: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s hard to get everyone on the same page with a brand-new industry that causes strong feelings and hot takes like crypto does. Here are some current roadblocks to crypto betting adoption.

Potential Drawbacks

Of course, the adoption of novel technologies rarely takes a linear path. Cryptocurrency and mobile sports betting are no exception, and the two industries face quite a bit of skepticism. Just as crypto’s decentralized nature makes it appealing to consumers, many government officials don’t like the idea of being boxed out of the picture, worried about the potential for offshore or illicit transactions. That’s a big sticking point for sports betting, where legality and regulations can vary quite a bit from country to country and between municipalities.

Last summer, some British lawmakers attempted to label cryptocurrency as a form of gambling because of the sometimes volatile market, concerned that legitimizing it as a financial service would put consumers at risk.

As is often the case, though, the free market won out, as the proposed legislation would have come in conflict with regulations in the European Union, and across the rest of the world… and probably wouldn’t have worked anyway, as we often see when the government tries to crack down with harsher legislation.

It’s a situation to keep an eye on, even if getting shot down by the Financial Services Minister is a pretty big roadblock for those in favour of harsh regulation to come back from. At the same time, if that favourable opinion holds up, crypto getting an official endorsement from the UK government could pave the way for a freer market moving forward, with more sportsbooks opening up to the crypto sector. Crypto betting isn’t where it could be, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes soon.

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