Online poker players within the U.S. have become more accepting of Bitcoin as a means of making deposits and withdrawals from poker sites.
The virtual currency has been gaining popularity among stateside players, so much so that nearly every U.S.-facing poker room has added Bitcoin to their payment processing options. Bovada is the latest USA-friendly site to do so, following the lead of their competitors and making life more pleasurable for players who favor the ease with which Bitcoin transactions are processed.
U.S. players who had been sitting on the rail following the events of Black Friday in 2011 – and even earlier in 2006 when passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) made it more difficult to deposit – are returning to action. Here in 2016, there is no reason why players in the U.S. who want to play poker online shouldn’t.
Let’s take a look at the online poker options available to U.S. players who have embraced Bitcoin for their payment processing needs, as well as the time frames involved when the poker sites rolled out Bitcoin.
Seals With Clubs
This oddly-named poker room got the Bitcoin ball rolling in 2011 as the first site to operate exclusively with Bitcoin. The site’s founder was a ground-breaking visionary in that regard, but made a big mistake by living in Nevada when online poker regulation was enacted a year later.
Seals With Clubs was forced to shut down in 2015 and promptly re-opened as SWCPoker from the gambling-friendly country of Antigua. But player traffic remains low, prompting many U.S. players to patronize other U.S.-friendly sites.
Led by Americas Cardroom and Black Chip Poker, the Winning Poker Network added Bitcoin as a deposit option in January 2014 and allowed withdrawals in the virtual currency not long after. With a robust player base, WPN has become the go-to network for tournament players.
Cash players also gravitate toward ACR and Black Chip because the loyalty programs are among the industry’s best. Bitcoin withdrawals are processed quickly, usually in a day or so, with a fee of roughly 2%.
Payment processing in Bitcoin was added to the Intertops cashier cage six months ago, much to the delight of U.S. players. Widely known as the oldest poker room still operating, Intertops’ honchos saw that more and more players are looking favorably at the cryptocurrency.
Just like WPN, Intertops will process Bitcoin cashouts in a day or two. Unlike WPN, there is currently no fee attached. That bears repeating for cheap players like myself who despise getting nicked with fees for making a withdrawal. No fees for Bitcoin cashouts!
BetOnline Poker and SportsBetting Poker are the top skins on the U.S.-facing Chico Network. If you’re at all familiar with poker rooms that are part of sports betting sites, you know that the poker games are soft because bettors who don’t know much about poker often saunter over to the tables.
If soft play and Bitcoin withdrawals that typically take anywhere from 1-3 days sounds good to you, taking a look at BetOnline Poker and SportsBetting Poker would be worth your while. A 2% fee is part of the package when cashing out in Bitcoin, but the number of fish that you’ll find at the poker tables more than makes up for it.
If you’re a U.S. poker player who has yet to enter the realm of Bitcoin payment processing, perhaps it’s time to do so. Don’t sit on the rail when so many viable options to play are available.