In the online casino and sports betting space, the biggest trend of the last several years has been to bet with cryptocurrency.
But even though there are upwards of 2500 active cryptocurrencies being traded on global exchanges, the best prepaid gambling sites for US players only accept a tiny fraction of them.
For many players looking to invest in crypto for the purpose of online betting – or for those who would use online gambling as a convenient starting point to get into crypto itself – the lack of various popular altcoins is a real bummer.
It’s like being down four runs in the bottom of the ninth with one man on and getting a home run instead of a double.
Sure, it’s great to pick up two runs in that situation, but you’re still down two.
You likely would have “settled” for a “lesser” hit, picked up a single run, and had a man on second for the next batter to continue the rally.
When an online betting site only supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a few other big assets, they’re unintentionally turning away gamblers who would rather use more compelling altcoins.
If you don’t want to invest in the above, you’re not going to buy some just to bet online.
In reality, it’s trivial for any enterprise to accept as many crypto coins as possible. All it takes is a wallet. There’s virtually no downside.
But with online gambling sites, there seem to be other considerations in play.
Are Gambling Sites Missing Out?
Now, don’t get us wrong: We love the fact that the most trusted prepaid casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks in the business all accept crypto.
Crypto is by far the best way to get your online gambling activities funded, and it’s the only way to claim same-day payouts from offshore operators.
But what continues to baffle us is the fact that no major vendor accepts more than a few coins.
And outside of the biggest and most popular options (i.e. Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.), the biggest and most hyped altcoins are always slow to be added to these sites’ rosters.
In many ways, it makes little sense.
Take Cardano (ADA), for example.
Cardano is ranked fifth in terms of crypto market cap, and it’s been the darling of the industry for several years.
Further, it has ADA wallet delegation mechanisms that allow for passive rewards, which betting sites could earn on ADA deposits while they’re in their own wallets (before being paid out to players).
Financially, it seems like Cardano would be a no-brainer for these sites.
And that’s just one example.
Currently, these are the top 30 crypto assets in the world, with the coins supported by various reputable online gambling outlets listed in bold (via CoinMarketCap.com):
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Tether (USDT)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Ripple (XRP)
- USD Coin (USDC)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Binance USD (BUSD)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Solana (SOL)
- Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Stellar (XLM)
- THETA (THETA)
- Dai (Dai)
- Internet Computer (ICP)
- VeChain (VET)
- Filecoin (FIL)
- Tron (TRX)
- Monero (XMR)
- Aave (AAVE)
- Terra (LUNA)
- EOS (EOS)
- Crypto.com Coin (CRO)
Explaining The Status Quo
There are effectively only two reasons why the coins that are supported are supported, and why new coins are added when they’re added.
Re the former, the bulk of these gambling sites’ stables were decided back when the coins in question were ranking right behind Bitcoin.
At one time, BCH, XRP, LTC, and XLM were all in the top five.
They’ve slipped over the years, but when these were introduced as viable bet funding options, it made sense: They were the most popular altcoins.
Now that they’ve been surpassed in many cases, additions have slowed down.
Only in 2021 did some sites begin to accept USD Coin, Dogecoin, and Chainlink, for example. And in Bovada’s case, the site only started taking Ethereum earlier this year (though it was already an established option at competing venues).
Well, that brings us to the second point.
It’s All About The Digital Benjamins
While we can’t prove it, we think the hesitation above has to do with the amounts of altcoins these sites already hold and the trading values thereof.
For example, again using Cardano:
If a betting site were sitting on millions of ADA it purchased at 2-3 cents each back in 2017, the current trading price of $1.25 would represent a huge ROI as paid out to bettors.
Effectively, players would be depositing at the current price, but they’d be paid out of the coffers at a much lower price.
Let’s say you win $100, which is about 80 ADA today. At the current rate, that would cost the gambling site $100.
But if the site is paying you out from its stockpile at a cost of two cents per coin, they’re only out $1.60.
In other words, you’ve won $100 but cost your site less than two dollars.
Of course, we think most sites are holding out for ADA to hit a major all-time high before they’ll support it publicly, giving them an even bigger haul on every payout (as they keep stacking coins from deposits at current market rates).
We think that’s the calculus in play across the board.
And that should surprise nobody.
For gamblers and gambling houses alike, the bottom line is always money.
Nevertheless, we remain impatient.
We want to bet with Cardano and Polkadot and Tron and Monero and VeChain, and we want to bet with them right now.
Of course, holding crypto never hurt anyone, either.
That’s what the best gambling sites are doing, after all.