Geo-blocking and Bitcoin
There are instances, when based on the nation from where a player is playing, a bitcoin gambling site would refuse service and this concept is called geo-blocking. The gambling laws of certain regions may be responsible for geo blocking for they might fear legal action by the national authorities against a site. For example in countries like Canada and Australia, in absence of a local license, it is illegal to offer online gambling. Therefore, a site which does not have licence to operate in Canada can geo-block Canadian users fearing a threat by the Canadian authorities. Historically, it has been observed that US Department of Justice pose a legal threat to gambling sites, therefore, a few sites geo-block the US users. This is primarily seen in sites outside of US, additionally, in some countries, the licence has a clause to block the US users while concurrently allowing the site to offer their gambling services in regions where it is legally allowed.
Geo blocking and its effects on users and operators
Online gambling since the originating times when it was conducted with traditional currency has known the concept of geo –blocking, although in the recent online gambling operations involving bitcoin, it has been absent. This virtual currency in its inception stage did not discriminate between users and allowed consenting adults to play bitcoin casino online from any location. However, even today most of the online gambling sites do not have any geographical restrictions for users, but with the slowly emerging bitcoin related regulations, an arming trend of geo-blocking can be seen in a few bitcoin gambling sites. Moreover, it is expected that this trend will gradually rise. This trend on the contrary to protect the people is in fact putting users in danger. This is because, for example, with US jurisdiction, some best and credible online gambling sites geo-block US users, which leaves them to play on lower quality and less reputable sites.
Are the operators happy with the concept of geo-blocking in bitcoin online casinos?
Although ideally, online is a global platform and unlike local laws which differentiate according to the regions, internet should have same laws governing it all across the globe. Sites are not very keen on turning down or restricting users, but the business would itself be put at risk, if online gambling is offered to areas with high risk jurisdictions. Geo-blocking is implemented to ensure execution of the governmental policies and regulations.
What is the current situation?
Currently the country which is the highest loser on online bitcoin gambling is UK, they are restricted from the best binary platforms, two of the best betting exchanges, online casinos, best sportsbook and more, this can be attributed to the point of consumption tax. Even in America, the users are restricted due to the unlawful internet gambling enforcement act 2006 from best dice sites and bitcoin casinos. Currently, geo blocking has been adopted by most of the sites that are located in Europe and vice versa in outside of Europe.
The way out for bitcoin gambling sites who do not want to disappoint any user from a specific geography is with the use of a bitcoin accepting VPN. This will also benefit people looking for online sports betting with bitcoin.