Bitcoin has made gambling more acceptable and accessible in most countries around the world, as has been discussed elsewhere on this blog already. With the crossover between bitcoin and gambling more and more bitcoin casinos are springing up almost daily.
The scripts and technology to configure a bitcoin casino is readily available and the lack of regulation means that it is much easier and more appealing for someone without much financial backing to open up a bitcoin version of a casino rather than try to open a cash version.
Here lies the problem, the ease of entry and lack of regulation mean doubled with the anonymous nature of bitcoin means that the casino at which you pick to play could be run by literally anyone and this “anyone” could quite easily disappear with your money.
This is the reason why so many people like to absorb a selection of reviews about bitcoin casinos before making a deposit in one, people are not only looking for the best odds and quickest payouts but also if an outfit is legit.
Here is the thing when assessing the reviews and comparisons posted on sites that appear to be reviewing the best bitcoin casinos….. These sites are been paid to post the reviews!
While some sites are up front and honest about this practise making it clear that there are “sponsored links” others are less than up front as they actually act as an affiliate for the btc casino/sportsbook/poker room.
What is a bitcoin casino affiliate?
The affiliate model is simple and occurs in almost every industry, many household names run affiliate programs with Amazon boasting the webs most popular program.
The affiliate model works by having other sites refer traffic (visitors) to the site which is running the program, if the site visitor them converts (in this case makes a deposit and gambles) then a portion of the conversion is paid to the referring site. The going rate in the bitcoin gambling industry seems to be around 15-20%.
This means that when you are recommended to a “top casino” by a review site you are likely just been pushed to the casino via an affiliate link and if you chose to play at it you will be funding the review site a commission of either:
- Everything you wager
- Everything you lose
The terms depend on the individual that the casinos have with the publishers.
You will have probably worked out by now that this means that most review sites will favor the casinos that offer them the most commission rather than the one which they have played and genuinely think is the best option.
There is one positive in this, the affiliate wants to make sure that they are paid and therefore they do not want to actively promote outfits which may vanish overnight so going with their top “recommendation” does carry some weight in terms of the casinos likelihood of sticking around even if the games and other evaluation criteria are not likely to be 100% honest.
As with many things bitcoin, the crypto-currency enables the skirting around existing laws therefore, where as a site promoting a traditional offer and paid in cash would be regulated by the FTC, in the bitcoin world this is not the case so not all of these “review sites” will come with a statement of disclosure.
To take any reviews of bitcoin casinos you find on blogs or review sites seriously you should first review the bitcoin casino review site!
Take a look at it, is there any obvious monetization methods in place which are been used? Look particularly for adverts here and hover over the adverts looking at where they link to, if the outgoing link contains an affiliate code (often identified by the letters “aff”) then its likely the owner of the review site is making money from directing people to the casino they “recommend”.
Also – take a look around for if there is any honest disclosure information on the site saying payments are received.
Without wanting to scaremonger and start a mentality of “who watches the watcher” who is to say that the top bitcoin casino recommendation from the review site and the review site itself are not owned by the same person!