The New York-based online gambling company Coinbet.cc splashed out with a press release Wednesday, claiming that by transacting in the virtual currency Bitcoin – not defined as legal tender in the United States – it was safe from the unwelcome attention of the Department of Justice.
“Since bitcoin isn’t officially recognized as currency by the U.S. government, online gambling with Bitcoin is not an illegal event under the Wire Act or Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act,” claimed John Bauer, a senior vice president for the owners, CoinBet Interactive Gaming, S.A.
Bitcoin.cc offers online gambling on sports, poker and casino games and styles itself as “…the 1st fully licensed gaming operator to bring legal online gambling back for U.S. residents.”
It “…uniquely enables U.S. gamblers to instantly and safely move U.S. dollars in and out of their accounts using the increasingly popular cryptocurrency bitcoin. Privacy minded gamblers are calling this the ultimate betting account, because of the anonymous registration option, which requires only an email and password,” it boasts.
But the company’s claim regarding pay-outs has come under fire on several internet message boards.
Coinbet claims it is the: “…first online casino & sportsbook ever to process cash payouts for players within minutes of a wagering result becoming final,” but a slew of players nursing burned fingers would argue that this is far from the truth.
A simple Google search unearths a litany of complaints and recriminations from players who claim that they were misled and cheated out of legitimate, and in some case considerable, winnings.
Adding to concerns regarding the bona fides of the company, its website displays an eCOGRA seal which not only does not link as is required, but was not awarded to the company, according to eCOGRA management.
The company claims that it has recently been voted “the #1 Bitcoin processing online casino & sportsbook” but does not elaborate. Requests for clarification on its licensing, eCOGRA accreditation and this award have so far gone unanswered.