The Gambling Commission has “written to a number of website operators offering prizes of money or money’s worth to gamblers in Britain that are not licensed by” the Commission to alert/remind them that any operator offering gambling services to British citizens using bitcoin as the basis of depositing and paying out requires an operating licence or they are acting illegally.

It is unlikely to surprise the recipients of such correspondence that they may be committing an offence. When bitcoin first emerged, online casinos that used bitcoin as the only payment method also emerged and claimed they were outside the scope of gambling regulation. Anyone with even a basic understanding of gambling law saw through such claims. It should be well-understood by now that even though bitcoin is not fiat currency, it nevertheless has “value” and wagering with it will be considered as gambling.