Illegal gambling among bitcoin spending habits – survey

A third of bitcoin holders in the US use their crypto to speculate, while 5% spend it on illegal gambling online, a survey shows.

Most bitcoin adopters in the US either trade their crypto or save it, according to a survey carried out by BonusInsider, an online betting guide. 33% of respondents say they use bitcoin to speculate, including active trade of NFTs. 28% say they do not spend their crypto and keep it as an investment.

16% of surveyed bitcoin holders say they spend it for online services, such as web hosting, domains, and VPN services. One in ten cash out on their bitcoins to cover current expenses, while 7% use it to purchase luxury goods such as jewelry and gold.

5% say they spend it to gamble online. None of the licensed operators in the US allow their customers to use cryptocurrencies for deposits, according to BonusInsider. It means that one in 20 bitcoin holders spend their money on unregulated or offshore gambling sites.

Image by BonusInsider.

“Many of these websites lack operating licenses or are regulated in offshore jurisdictions like Curacao, Antigua and Barbuda, Guernsey, or Costa Rica,” David Sandler, chief editor at BonusInsider, said in an email.

The US government loses “tens of millions” of dollars per month in tax money, he said, because offshore gambling websites do not report their revenue to the IRS. Players are also exposed to higher risks when gambling on unlicensed websites.

“Their deposits are not protected, and there is no guarantee they will be able to withdraw their eventual winnings,” Sandler said.

The survey, which polled 1115 bitcoin holders in the US, also shows that a third of respondents do not process any transactions on a monthly basis. At 39%, most bitcoin users process between one to nine monthly transactions, and only one in ten handles more than 20.

A vast majority of those surveyed also have other cryptocurrencies in their portfolio, with only 20% saying they own no other cryptocurrencies besides bitcoin.