The UK Gambling Commission has written (archive) to what it perceives to be Bitcoin gambling venues operating illegally due to the lack of a licence. The UK Gambling Commission states that regardless of where such a business is located, it must hold a licence if it is to provide British consumers with its services.
Gambling Commission CEO Jenny Williams said:
We wrote to these operators because they were either advertising gambling illegally or illegally offering gambling products to consumers, or both. The Commission neither prohibits nor encourages bitcoin – we are interested only in ensuring the proper regulation of gambling products consumed in Britain. The currency is almost irrelevant as all operators need to satisfy themselves, and us, that they can fully meet all our requirements – particularly the requirements that ensure crime is kept out of gambling and consumers are protected.
Bitcoin based gambling sites believed to have acquiesced1 to the Gambling Commission's demands and blocked UK players from gambling on their site instead of purchasing a licence include Anonibet, Nitrogen Sports, Direct Bet, BetBtc, prediction market Fairlay and the Havelock listed Casino Bitcoin which operates sites (archive) such as bitcoinrush, casinobitco.in amongst others. Bitcoinpunter.com, operated by tonyq from the UK opted to shut down (archive) his website after receiving a cease and demand letter from the Gambling Commission.