New 'free bet' tax set to hit UK's online operators

Bitcoins have appeared nearly a decade ago, and since then, this cryptocurrency has been receiving lots of attention from the media, developers, financial industry and the governments. Even though the authorities were quite negative about the appearance of decentralised money, the wind of change have started blowing towards bitcoins already a few years ago. Most of the year of 2015 was spent discussing whether the bitcoin is a currency or a commodity, instead of whether it is legal or illegal to use it. And a few months ago the wind of change has reached the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), an authority that is responsible for the licensing activities of the casinos, betting houses and other gambling operators both online and offline within the territory of the UK.

As reported by, the UKGC has announced that it sees the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as an equivalent to regular money. Meaning that casinos and betting houses can both accept deposits in bitcoins and then convert these deposits in the currency of the player’s choice, or simply accept deposits and offer the players to maintain their account balance in bitcoins. This update in the regulation has certainly came out in the right point in time, as the bitcoin gambling becomes more and more popular. Today it seems to occupy its own niche in the online gambling industry.

Such updates in the regulation certainly signify the importance of the bitcoin and, possible, other cryptocurrencies. On top of that, it also seems that such an update is clearly a win-win situation for all of the industry participants. Regulators will receive an increased amount of the operators. Regulated online casinos and other valid gaming operators will get an opportunity to offer a new payment system and a new type of account balance currency for its clients. Apart from that, until now there has been quite a few online casinos that were operating solely via bitcoins, and these casinos had to stay in a grey area. With this regulation, such casinos are given the opportunity to move into a white operating environment. This also means that the clients of such casinos will be treated in a more secured manner.



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