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Published Friday, January 6th, 2017 in

Bitcoin Gambling Legal

Bitcoin legality is a complex subject, and many countries have yet to clearly define their stance on bitcoin gambling (or gambling with any cryptocurrency for that matter). We have provided clear summaries for dozens of countries where bitcoin gambling is or isn’t legal. Each country is also listed with a bitcoin ‘regulatory score’; 0 meaning no regulation and 10 meaning strict regulation. Navigate to your country by using the link menu below.

This page is meant for informational purposes only, please seek professional legal advice if you are under any doubt over the legality of bitcoin gambling in your country.

Albania

Bitcoin is neither well-known nor popular in Albania, meaning that there has been absolutely no regulation at all in the area. In fact, there has barely been mention of Bitcoin from any national agency in the country. Should Bitcoin use become more popular within the country, the authorities might start to pay attention to the subject more though, and regulation could well follow. This complete lack of current regulation from the Albanian government means that anyone looking to use the virtual currency in the country will be able to do so without any risk of being arrested or prosecuted.

Regulatory Score: 1

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Australia

There is no problem using Bitcoin when in Australia, and the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia has even commented on the fact that using Bitcoin is completely legal, as “there’s no law against that.” Those using Bitcoin will be subject to the same taxes as those using AUD though, and the Australian government has issued specific guidelines to Bitcoin users in this area – guides that are needed, as purchases made using Bitcoin are technically classed as barter. Overall though, Australia has to be classified as one of the most Bitcoin-friendly countries in the entire world.

Regulatory Score: 1

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Belgium

The Belgian government has a hands-off attitude when it comes to Bitcoin, with the Minister of Finance publicly stating that there is no reason for the government to intervene at the present time. The same minister has also downplayed any problems that Bitcoin could cause in terms of money laundering and other criminal activities, and also doesn’t believe that Bitcoin will pose a significant risk to price stability. This means that there are absolutely no rules and regulations in Belgium surrounding Bitcoin, and that people can use it freely, without any risk of arrest or prosecution.

Regulatory Score: 1

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Bulgaria

The National Revenue Agency has moved to classify Bitcoin as currency – making it the first country in the EU to do so. This was done simply for tax reasons, and the NRA has stated that income from Bitcoin must now be “specified in annual tax returns.” This regulation, while seemingly innocuous, has provoked a reaction though, with some worrying that it will make money laundering easier within the country. For individuals though, there are no restrictions at all on how they use Bitcoin, and there is no chance of being arrested or prosecuted for doing so.

Regulatory Score: 3

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Canada

Canada was the first country in the world to pass legislation surrounding Bitcoin, however this legislation was more based on businesses and Bitcoin dealers – and the taxes they pay – than on individual users of the currency. The government does not consider Bitcoin to be a legal currency within the borders of Canada, however individuals are still allowed to use it, much in the way they can use foreign currencies when paying for items/services online. There is no chance of being prosecuted for using Bitcoins within Canada, providing all taxes are paid in accordance with the amendments made in Bill C-31.

Regulatory Score: 3

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China

The situation regarding Bitcoin use in China is this: individuals can freely buy and trade Bitcoins within the country, however financial institutions are expressly prohibited from handling Bitcoins in any way. This is because the government has declared that “Bitcoin is not a currency” which means that it “should not be circulated.” For now though, individuals can buy and sell Bitcoins, without the risk of incurring any legal consequences. In a country with a high level of state control, it would not be a surprise if further restrictions were placed on the virtual currency in the future though.

Regulatory Score: 7

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Croatia

In 2013, the Croatian National Bank came to the conclusion that Bitcoin is not illegal in Croatia. This is the only real mention made of Bitcoin by official sources. No specific guidelines on the use of Bitcoin were issued by the CNB though, and they didn’t post any further details on their website. Currently there is no central monitoring or regulation of Bitcoin by the government, however future regulation by the central banks has not been ruled out. Using Bitcoin is therefore completely legal in Croatia at the moment, meaning that there is no chance of being prosecuted for buying, trading or mining it.

Regulatory Score: 1

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Czech Republic

The Ministry of Finance in the Czech Republic has produced legal guidelines for the buying and selling of Bitcoins (as well as other digital currencies) and has also stated that any Bitcoin transactions worth over €15,000 will be viewed as suspicious. The Czech National Bank has also commented on Bitcoin, saying that companies denying customers the chance to pay using the national currency could be committing a criminal act. Individuals are completely free to use Bitcoin though, and doing so is not considered criminal in any way – aside from when large transactions are involved, which could come under suspicion.

Regulatory Score: 4

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Denmark

The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority has stated that Bitcoin is not a currency, and that it is not within any of the financial services categories. This, they say, means that they will not regulate the currency at all. They also stated that this lack of regulation expressly means that users of Bitcoin are not protected by national law. There has also been no statement regarding the tax implications of using Bitcoin. There are no laws governing the ways in which Bitcoin is traded or mined, leaving individuals completely free to use Bitcoins in any way in which they wish.

Regulatory Score: 1

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Finland

As with a number of other countries around the world, the only instructions surrounding Bitcoin in Finland are about taxation, with those transferring the currency to another form of currency being obliged to pay capital gains tax. Selling Bitcoins at a loss will not allow the seller to offset the losses in their tax return though. In terms of using the currency for buying goods or services, there are no restrictions placed upon Finnish citizens though. This means that those residing in Finland can use Bitcoin as a form of payment without fear of arrest or prosecution.

Regulatory Score: 3

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France

French authorities have moved to place a number of regulations on Bitcoin. For individuals, the most important of these are the fact that identity has to be verified before a virtual currency account can be opened, deposited in, or withdrawn from, as well as the fact that a ceiling on payments could be introduced in the future. While these regulations have made Bitcoin a more reputable and accepted payment method in the country, they have placed some barriers on individuals looking to use it. It’s completely legal to use though, and there is no chance of being arrested for doing so.

Regulatory Score: 5

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Germany

Bitcoin can be bought and traded completely legally in Germany, and its place as a valid form of money is in German law. This legal validation was provided by the German Finance Ministry, who class Bitcoin as a “unit of account” – different to currency, but still acceptable for both tax and trading purposes. There is no oversight of the Bitcoin industry by a centralised body though, although it has been stated that this could become necessary in the future. This regulation from the government, unlike in many other countries, has actually solidified Bitcoin’s position in Germany, making it one of the safest countries in the world to use the virtual currency. See our list of the available Bitcoin gambling sites in Germany.

Regulatory Score: 3

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Greece

The use of Bitcoins in Greece is completely unregulated, as the government hasn’t passed any legislation concerning the virtual currency at all. The Bank of Greece has made a statement about Bitcoin though, warning investors that losses concerning the change of price of Bitcoin are not protected. Bitcoin is not hugely popular in Greece, with mainstream media failing to report on it much, which is perhaps why it has been ignored by the government. So, at the moment, Greeks will find that it is completely legal to trade Bitcoins, and that there is no chance of being arrested or prosecuted for doing so.

Regulatory Score: 1

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong, although officially a part of China, has a far more liberal stance on Bitcoins. While the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has stated that Bitcoins are only a virtual commodity, they have also stated that there will be no steps taken to regulate the use of this virtual currency in the near future. Regulation has not been ruled out entirely though, with the HKMA ensuring that it keeps a close eye on Bitcoin usage in the country, as well as around the world. For now though, Hong Kong is one of the safest countries in the world to use Bitcoin, with absolutely no chance of being prosecuted for doing so.

Regulatory Score: 2

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Hungary

There are no regulations surrounding the use of Bitcoin or other virtual currencies in Hungary. The National Bank of Hungary has a rather confusing stance on the currency, as they have warned citizens that Bitcoin is “much riskier” than many other forms of payment, but have also acknowledged the advantages of the currency, such as its speed and anonymity. This essentially means that the Hungarian stance on Bitcoin closely resembles that of the European Union, and that the country has resisted taking the hard-line approach adopted by Russia. Any individuals looking to use Bitcoin in Hungary will be able to do so completely freely.

Regulatory Score: 2

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Iceland

In Iceland, the Central Bank have stated that Bitcoins are not a recognised or protected form of currency, and that purchasing them could be illegal, as it would violate the Foreign Exchange Act. This is because the Foreign Exchange Act prohibits any Icelandic currency from leaving the country – something that would happen often when buying Bitcoin. It should be remembered that this is only an interpretation of the law though, and not actual Bitcoin legislation. Bitcoin use in Iceland is still common though, with many people mining, and the chances of being arrested for buying, spending or mining Bitcoins are very low.

Regulatory Score: 5

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Italy

Italy does not regulate Bitcoin in any way when it comes to private individuals, meaning that it is completely legal to use Bitcoins in the country. The only significant legislation passed by the Italian government on the subject makes Bitcoin – as well as other forms of electronic payment – a legal means of payment. The Italian government favours staying in step with the EU when it comes to issues surrounding Bitcoin, so is likely to follow any initiatives implemented by them. Overall though, there’s no chance of being arrested or prosecuted in Italy for using Bitcoin as a form of currency.

Regulatory Score: 2

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Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a country that has been supportive of Bitcoin’s development, and Bitcoin has been classified as money by the CSSF. In April 2016, Luxembourg also became the first country to grant a licence to a Bitcoin exchange (Bitstamp) in Europe, further proving how friendly the country’s authorities are towards the virtual currency and also increasing the credibility of Bitcoin as a whole. Individuals will find that there are no regulations in place to govern the way in which they trade Bitcoins, therefore meaning that those living in Luxembourg are free to use Bitcoin however they want to.

Regulatory Score: 3

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Malta

When it comes to individuals, there are absolutely no rules or regulations in place surrounding Bitcoin in Malta. This means that Bitcoin users are completely free to spend, trade and mine the virtual currency, without any risk of being prosecuted for doing so. There is an issue when it comes to gambling sites registered with the Maltese Gaming Authority though, as they do not recognise Bitcoin as a form of payment. Should they find a casino licenced by the them accepting Bitcoin, they could revoke the licence of the casino in question. It is expected that the use of Bitcoins at online gambling sites registered with the MGA will be allowed by the end of 2016 though.

Regulatory Score: 3

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Netherlands

There are no restrictions or regulations in place in the Netherlands when it comes to buying, trading or mining Bitcoins. The Dutch Central Bank has warned of the “considerable risks” associated with virtual currency though. In a recent court case, the Dutch court ruled that Bitcoin was an acceptable means of payment in the country, in the same way that gold is also acceptable, but that it could not be classed as legal tender. For individuals using Bitcoin in the Netherlands though, it’s clear that the currency is completely acceptable to use, and that there’s no risk of getting prosecuted for doing so.

Regulatory Score: 2

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Norway

The only regulations in place in Norway regarding Bitcoins are those related to tax. The fact that Bitcoin has been classed as capital property in these regulations means that tax must be paid on any amounts won or earned, however Bitcoin losses can also be deducted from a tax return. Also, anyone selling Bitcoins in Norway must pay VAT. In terms of an individual spending Bitcoins though, there are no laws to regulate the way in which this is done. This means that it is perfectly safe for individuals to conduct transactions using Bitcoin in Norway.

It should be noted however, that Norway takes a strict stance with online gambling. Only two betting companies are allowed to operate and they are both state owned – Norsk Rikstoto and Norsk Tipping. These gambling restrictions are criticised by many as not having a significant affect on problem gambling, but choosing to gamble online with Bitcoin in Norway must be done at your own risk.
Regulatory Score: 3

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Poland

Poland’s Ministry of Finance has publicly stated that it does not consider Bitcoin to be illegal, and that it also doesn’t want to hinder the development of the currency. It has also stated that Bitcoin can’t be classed as legal tender though, and that it is also not electronic money. The fact that Bitcoin is not illegal hasn’t stopped some banks from closing accounts of some Bitcoin traders though, as they have made the decision to class Bitcoin trading as a criminal activity. So, essentially the government has no problem with Bitcoin, but some of the banks do.

Regulatory Score: 3

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Republic of Ireland

The Central Bank of Ireland has stated in the Assembly of Ireland that it does not regulate Bitcoins at all. Those in the Republic of Ireland are completely free to use Bitcoins as a currency, both online and in land-based venues, and this legality has been backed up by a report from Arthur Cox, Ireland’s top law firm. This complete lack of regulation from the government means that the Republic of Ireland is one of the easiest countries in the world to use the currency – something that large amounts of people do every day.

Regulatory Score: 1

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Romania

In Romania, there are absolutely no regulations surrounding the use of Bitcoin. It is not classed as a currency, but is instead classed as barter, under Article 1763 of Romanian Civil Code. In terms of tax, any business accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment must pay income tax on the transactions. For individuals, the complete lack of regulation means that they are totally free to use Bitcoin in any way they wish (providing it is used to buy/sell legal products and services), and that there is no chance of being arrested or prosecuted for using it.

Regulatory Score: 1

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Russia

Russia is one of the least Bitcoin-friendly countries in the world, and the currency is essentially banned by the government. Many influential individuals and groups have criticised the currency, and a number of sites associated with Bitcoin have been blocked in the country. The Russian Prosecutor General has also stated that Bitcoin is illegal, as it is a money substitute, and not actual currency. The stance on Bitcoin is changing though, with the government planning to class Bitcoins as foreign currency – therefore meaning that they can be bought, but only used abroad.

Regulatory Score: 9

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Slovakia

The National Bank of Slovakia has stated that Bitcoin is not legally a currency, therefore they have no way in which to regulate it. This means that those using the currency in Slovakia are completely free of any regulations. They have also stated that those trading Bitcoins are not protected by the law in any way. The first ever Bitcoin ATM in the world was installed in the capital Bratislava, showing that this country is accepting of the virtual currency. Those in Slovakia can buy, trade and mine Bitcoins with absolutely no worries about any legal implications.

Regulatory Score: 1

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Spain

In Spain, there has yet to be any regulation introduced surrounding Bitcoin, although the fact that it is not a currency issued by the monetary authority means that it is not classed as legal tender. Spending Bitcoins is classed as barter in the country, and as such, each trade is governed by the Civil Code. Spain moved quickly to seize Bitcoins when an international investigation was opened into fraudulent Bitcoin activity, showing that the Spanish government is willing to step in when it comes to Bitcoin, if necessary. Those trading Bitcoin in Spain legally though will have absolutely no problems, and run no risk of prosecution.

Regulatory Score: 2

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Sweden

Swedish authorities were one of the very first to legitimize the use of Bitcoin, with the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority declaring them to be a valid means of payment within the country. This means that Bitcoin isn’t only completely legal to use within Sweden, but also that those using it will be protected by the law. Some businesses do have to apply for a licence in order to use Bitcoin though, just as they have to when looking to use standard fiat currencies. In all though, Sweden has to be classed as one of the best countries in the world when it comes to individuals using Bitcoin.

Regulatory Score: 2

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Switzerland

As a global financial capital, it might be expected that the Swiss authorities would regulate Bitcoin quickly. This hasn’t happened though, and they have even gone as far as publicly stating that regulation is not yet needed. Members of Parliament have even been keen to utilise Bitcoin in the financial sector, however have also sought further clarification on taxes paid on Bitcoin. As yet though, there is absolutely no regulation surrounding Bitcoin in Switzerland, so users can buy and sell with it completely freely.

Regulatory Score: 2

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Ukraine

Bitcoin is not illegal in Ukraine, and players at online casinos will not be prosecuted if they decide to use it. The National Bank of Ukraine has come forward to advise people against using any type of cryptocurrency though – something that a number of other national banks have also done. As yet, there have been no official regulations introduced to govern the use of Bitcoin in the country, and most people don’t expect any regulations to be introduced in the near future. For the moment though, Ukraine allows Bitcoin use – unlike its close neighbor Russia, which has far more restrictions in place.

Regulatory Score: 2

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United Kingdom

Those residing in the UK will be glad to know that using Bitcoin is completely legal, and that they have unrestricted access to both buy and trade Bitcoins in any manner in which they want to. There is yet to be any statement from the Bank of England regarding the use of Bitcoin, and there is no regulation in place at all surrounding the currency. This means that the United Kingdom is one of the safest places in the world to use Bitcoin, with no chance of being prosecuted for buying or selling with it. To help find a Bitcoin casino or gambling site in the United Kingdom, we have created a full list of UK Bitcoin gambling sites.

Regulatory Score: 1

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United States

As with many things, the status of Bitcoin is a complex one in the USA. There’s been no persecution of Bitcoin though, but instead a concerted effort to regulate the currency and protect the national currency. Essentially, the rule in the US is this: Bitcoin is considered a legitimate form of currency, which only increased when the US government auctioned off Bitcoins seized from the Silk Road site. Those using it to purchase items are at no risk of being prosecuted, unlike in some other countries of the world, providing it is used to make legal purchases. We have now introduced a list of all USA Bitcoin gambling sites here.

Regulatory Score: 3

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Venezuela

Bitcoin is popular in Venezuela, however it is not encouraged by the government, who have even recently begun an anti-Bitcoin campaign on state TV. They have also blocked a number of Bitcoin websites. This is because Bitcoin is seen by the authorities as a currency used by terrorists and criminals. To further underscore their hardline stance on the currency, two Bitcoin miners were reportedly arrested by the Venezuelan intelligence agency following the TV campaign. So, there might not be any formal regulations from the government, but it’s clear that Bitcoin is definitely not welcome in this country.

Regulatory Score: 9

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