Since the repeal of the federal ban on sports betting in 2018, online sports betting is booming. Experts expect the industry to be worth multiple billions in the next five years, as more states legalize online betting. Bettors are looking for easier and faster ways to bet, which has led to an emerging market for crypto sports betting. 

Several states, sports teams, and major sportsbooks are dipping their toes into the crypto and blockchain space. Wyoming passed HB 133 in 2020, which allows sportsbooks to accept “digital, crypto and virtual currencies” as wagers. South Carolina recently introduced HB 5277, which would allow legal sports betting and payment with digital currencies. The Portland Trail Blazers became the first NBA team to partner with a cryptocurrency company, StormX, and the UFC partnered with 

DraftKings has been taking the lead as the first major sportsbook to create a marketplace for bettors to purchase NFTs. Users can buy, sell, and trade unique content from NFT platform Autograph, which leverages official licensing of prominent athletes and celebrities. 

DraftKings CEO, Jason Robins, said that, “we’ve looked into how we might utilize this form of payment, right now, we’re not able to offer it on our products. The payment methods we can accept are determined by the individual state regulators and, as of now, crypto is not an approved payment type in any of the states where we’re live.” 

For bettors who don’t want to wait for state regulators to approve cryptocurrencies, there are legal ways to place bets with digital currencies. So long as sports betting and crypto is legal where you live or are visiting, you can place bets with digital currencies. 

Because there are fewer oversights into sports betting with crypto, bettors should keep several things in mind when picking where to bet. 

  • Accepted cryptocurrencies: the number and kind of digital currencies the sportsbook accepts, and what fees are associated with each. 
  • Reputation: check that the crypto sportsbook is fully licensed and has a good reputation. Checking reviews for the sportsbook can help with determining the book’s history. 
  • Location Restrictions: ensure that the sportsbook is available in your region. 
  • Payout and withdrawal speeds: the amount of time it takes to receive payouts in your betting account and transfer them to your desired crypto wallet. 

Besides the speed of payouts, current bettors using crypto receive a variety of other benefits. The use of two-factor authentication and encryption mean that crypto bets are placed with a higher level of security. Digital currencies are designed to be more difficult to hack than other forms of payments, which means a greater level of security for the bettor. 

Cryptocurrencies also allow bettors to have more anonymity. While not all crypto sportsbooks allow anonymous bets, many do. This means that users don’t have to share any sensitive or personal data. Because users’ personal data isn’t shared, it means that there is no risk of it being stolen. 

There are also no hidden banking fees when placing bets. All of the fees are transparent, which means that bettors have a better idea of what they can spend on each bet. Fees are also offset by bigger betting bonuses than standard betting options.  

There is a growing movement across the sports industry to invest in crypto infrastructure. As more sportsbooks and teams explore the possibilities of blockchain technology, there will be more attention paid to how more people can participate in betting with crypto currencies. 

Legislation is likely to change as evidence from early-adopting states becomes available. Wyoming’s small population means that data can be hard to apply to larger states like New Jersey or New York. However, more states are going live with crypto payments built in. South Carolina is working on including digital currencies at launch. 

Ohio is an up-and-coming state that has the potential to include crypto bets. In December of 2021, Gov. Mike Dewine signed HB 29 into law, which will allow Ohioans to bet online and in-person. The launch is expected in 2022, with sports betting needing to be running by 2023. 

The Governor and state representatives agree that the goal is to have sports betting available as early as possible, with wide available to Ohio bettors. Gov. Dewine said, “I’ve instructed our administration as soon as everything is ready we should move forward with it, we don’t want to hold it up, we want to follow what the law says and make this available to people but it’s going to take some time for everything to be worked out before this can really start.”

When the state launches, there will be many Ohio sports betting bonuses, which entice new bettors. With the increasing focus on cryptocurrencies in sports betting, the these bonuses could easily include some of the larger bonuses featured on crypto betting apps.