UKGC Recognizes Digital Currencies as Cash Equivalent

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bitcoin-and-cashThe UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has recently announced that digital currencies will be considered equivalent to real money and can be used to make deposits at online casinos.

Important Announcement

In the UK, gambling is a well-regulated industry. Providers are required to get a license from the UKGC and comply with various banking regulations. The regulatory body has now revised some of its banking regulations and considers bitcoins to be equal to real money.

The regulations now say, “Licensees, as part of their internal controls and financial accounting systems, must implement appropriate policies and procedures concerning the usage of cash and cash equivalents (bankers drafts, cheques, debit cards, and digital currencies) by customers, designed to minimize the risk of crimes such as money laundering, to avoid the giving of illicit credit to customers and to provide assurance that gambling activities are being conducted in a manner which promotes the licensing objectives.”

Right now, the Bitcoin casino market is limited compared to the online casinos offering players to only use traditional currencies for depostits and withdrawals. But this change will see a brand new market opening for various digital currencies, including Bitcoin.

Benefits of Digital Currencies

Digital currencies are ideal for gambling purposes because they are cost effective, anonymous, fast, and convenient. Now that the UK Gambling Commission has finally recognized them, it is up to all digital currencies to generate awareness among gamblers by showing how they are better than the existing fiat currencies for the gambling industry.

The latest change packs the digital currency industry with fresh opportunities as it eliminates a lot of resistance to the idea of using bitcoins to make deposits. The cryptocurrency industry is now in a better position to prove to gamblers worldwide that they can provide a much better banking experience than fiat currencies.

MGA Friendly to Latest Technologies

Meanwhile, Joseph Cuschieri, the chairperson of the Malta Gambling Authority (MGA), said that regulatory frameworks need to be flexible so that the gambling industry can take advantage of all the technological developments while simultaneously minimizing risk for players.

Speaking about the significance of cryptocurrencies in the gambling industry, he told Malta Today, “Cryptocurrencies are an attempt to create a virtual currency, backed up by a technology blockchain that manages its transactions. I still see it as a risk, and the authority’s position is that we still do not accept cryptocurrencies. The authority has received very few requests to accept crypto-currencies, and we have always refused. We are looking to adopting a national approach and given it’s a financial instrument we shall be collaborating with the Central Bank, the MFSA, and the FIAU.”

MGA May Follow the UKGC

Now that the UKGC has recognized digital currencies as cash equivalents, the MGA may soon do the same. Responsible for all gambling activities in Malta, the MGA supervises land-based as well as online gaming activities.

The regulatory body is currently trying to update its old gambling laws. A consultation with stakeholders has been scheduled for September and the final draft will be submitted to the parliament. If all goes well, the new system may be implemented in March 2017.

September 16, 2016: • No Comments

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