On Monday, Bitcoin payment service provider Bitpay announced that it had helped NetBet become the first online gambling operator licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to offer Bitcoin deposit and withdrawal options to its online sports betting and casino customers.
Bitpay, which claims to be the world’s largest Bitcoin payment processor, says NetBet opted to include Bitcoin payment options to better serve the UK’s growing digital currency user base and to offer customers the peace of mind that comes with freedom from online payment fraud. Given the relative novelty of Bitcoin in the UK online gambling marketplace, Bitpay says it worked closely with NetBet to ensure its new payment option met all UKGC requirements.
In August, the UKGC updated its License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) and reminded licensees to ensure they were implementing appropriate policies and procedures concerning the usage of cash and cash equivalents, which included the UKGC’s first reference to “digital currencies” under this category.
The UKGC later sought to downplay the suggestion that its newfound acceptance of Bitcoin was anything new, saying only that it was reminding its licensees that they needed to ensure proper anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations regardless of what currencies they accepted.
Meanwhile, UKGC-licensee Sky Betting & Gaming has blazed its own technological trail by adding Apple Pay to its list of approved deposit methods. eGaming Review reported that Apple Pay had been added to Sky Bet, Vegas Casino and Bingo apps earlier this month.
The new Apple Pay option is available to Sky Bet players who have an iPhone 6 or higher, iPad pro, iPad Air 2 or Apple Watch. Deposits are instant but withdrawals take 3-5 days and can only be made to the bank card registered to a customer’s account (and currently only Visa cards are accepted).