The potential of cryptocurrency and gambling in Israel

  (photo credit: PICPEDIA)
(photo credit: PICPEDIA)

For many a year now, cryptocurrency has slowly been infiltrating our lives. Since the inception of the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, in 2009, many other coins have emerged, ramping up both the presence of cryptocurrencies in everyday society, and the significance of them. Due to the digital, decentralised nature of the currency, there is however uncertainty about the stability of it, and suspicion over the legitimacy of it. But because of the overwhelming popularity in some countries around the world, there is certainly potential for cryptocurrency to have a greater influence in Israel.

Cryptocurrency is already accepted in many countries around the world, and in these countries, people are starting to buy, hold and use digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dogecoin to make purchases online from retailers. Some vendors, and many other sectors of society are still sceptical about implementing cryptocurrency but a sector that digital currency is slowly influencing is online casino.

In Israel, the topics of online casino and cryptocurrency are interesting ones. Not only is online gambling, in the form of table games such as Poker, Blackjack and Baccarat, illegal in the country, but cryptocurrency is still being scrutinised by the government. But despite this, both remain popular amongst Israelis. The online casino and cryptocurrency movements are arguably two of the biggest winners from the global pandemic that touched everyone’s lives. The extended periods of lockdown and self-isolation forced many people to dip into the online world, whether that was online gaming, the streaming of television series, virtual chat rooms to keep up with family and friends, playing casino online or keeping up with the cryptocurrency activity.

In countries where online casino is permitted, the latter two in particularly are starting to form a strong alliance, combining the ability to play online casino games with deposits, withdrawals and rewards in the form of cryptocurrency. The combination, which is very much keeping up with the current trends, is exploring new space and making the most of newly developed habits people have picked up from those periods of time spent at home, and in the online world. The potential is huge, and it is more a case of when, than if, this potential will be fulfilled. 

Although online casino activity is illegal in Israel, many players attempt to traverse the system to access online casinos with foreign licenses, using a VPN for example. And for those who are investors in cryptocurrency, there is also a new way to use it beyond making purchases. At, there is a plethora of online casino options that accept cryptocurrency, which will perhaps drive the popularity of both gambling and digital currency further. And perhaps this might lead the Israeli government to consider the impact of both, and reconsider current rules that are in place.

Bank Leumi became the first Israeli bank to officially allow cryptocurrency trading, following its partnering with US Blockchain company Paxos. As one of the largest banks in Israel, this was seen as a great stride towards the acceptance of digital currency. And it is this potential rise in popularity and use that could drive a change in online casino regulation. Without opening their borders fully to an influx of foreign casino providers, Israel could simply follow the examples of Sweden and the United Kingdom, in creating their own domestic regulation of casino play, beyond the already state-regulated sports betting and national lottery. And along with the growing acceptance of cryptocurrency, the combination could unlock great financial potential and benefit the economy, as well as allowing fans of online casino to play in a legal and safe environment.

This article was written in cooperation with Adam Walker