UKGC Gives Approval To Licensees To Offer Bitcoin As Payment Method
The need to address digital currencies like Bitcoin is a reality for all bodies that issue gaming licenses. Back in May we reported on the Isle of Man considering allowing its licensees to offer deposit options with virtual currencies. Currently the only jurisdiction to fully permit online gambling licenses free reign to accept Bitcoin is that of Curacao. Malta is apparently also looking at this option now.
In what could be a major move towards virtual currencies like Bitcoin gaining mass acceptance, the UKGC has given their approval for licensees to accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Following consultations the UKGC have updated their License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) which will take effect as of October 3 2016.
In terms of section 1 of the LCCP, licensees are to” implement appropriate policies and procedures concerning the usage of cash and cash equivalents by customers.” These include bank drafts, credit cards and digital currencies.
According to UKGC CEO Sarah Harrison, digital currencies were a focus for the regulator. Licensees were informed that they need to take into account any applicable learning or guidelines issued by the UKGC from time to time. This latest move seems to further legitimize Bitcoin which is gaining acceptance as a legitimate form of currency. However Bitcoin gambling operators will as part of receiving acceptance into the circle of currencies have to apply for a UK gaming license if they wish to serve the UK market.