Sportsbook Review reported two weeks ago that bitcoin dropped to a new low of $325 for October 2014. Since that time, BTC has picked up some steam and settled around $360 as of this morning. Despite the overall decline in value, interest among sports bettors continues to be high.
Sportsbook Review met yesterday with Nitrogen Sports (SBR rating B) executives in SBR headquarters in Costa Rica. Nitrogen is the first bitcoin betting site to carry an SBR rating, and was the subject of a profile review following their introduction to the sportsbook ratings guide one month ago.
Nitrogen has claimed that overall wagering volume is seeing new highs and its ability to process transactions almost automatically has not suffered. One reason for the relatively high initial rating for a sportsbook with less than two years of experience is the unique nature of Nitrogen Sports' business model: Nitrogen does not need to hold players balances, most users withdraw on a daily basis or after the conclusion of each game. The high availability of funds means there is a lower risk to player funds and less impetus on third party processors and the usual hurdles presented by servicing players globally, and in turn less delay between deposit and withdrawal.
Players who are totally risk-averse are still advised to deal with long-standing, reputable gaming businesses that have been in business for years, some of which are publicly traded companies.
The following chart (powered by Coindesk.com) shows the bitcoin fluctuations in the last seven days:
Sports bettors who enjoy wagering events well into the future, such as a bet on your favorite NFL team to win the Super Bowl should stick with a traditional sportsbook, as not only is the value of BTC guaranteed to change, bitcoin operators of today may not be able to withstand potentially turbulent swings in currency and business.
Betting sites 5Dimes (SBR rating A+) and Heritage Sports (SBR rating A) are two of the most well-known bookmakers to accept bitcoin transactions, though wagering is done in USD. Sportsbettingonline.ag (SBR rating D) has also supported BTC transactions. Provided the value of bitcoin steadies, there are likely to be many more established sportsbooks and casinos offering bitcoin in 2015. Sportsbook Review executives are presently attending a gaming conference held in Barcelona and will question major operators on their bitcoin plans.
There is presently a trending bitcoin discussion at the Sportsbook Review posting forum on if players believe bitcoin betting sites will eventually suspend service to US customers. US players are accustomed to tough breaks as most of their favorite sportsbooks have pulled out of the market to be in compliance with federal law and potentially re-enter the market as legislation changes. New Jersey intends to begin accepting sports wagers despite federal statute the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act ("PASPA") which limits sports betting nationwide with the exceptions of Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana.
As always, SBR wants your feedback. If you are a player with a wagering, payout, or customer service dispute against an online sportsbook or a bitcoin betting site, submit a sportsbook complaint and an analyst will help.