Online poker players are leveraging bitcoin cashouts over fiat in order to enhance their winnings.
According to a report by BNN Bloomberg, successful online gamblers are taking advantage of the surging price of bitcoin to boost their earnings and attempt to circumvent taxes.
Winning Poker Network Chief Executive Phil Nagy told the outlet the platform has been forced to purchase millions of dollars worth of bitcoin from OTC trading desks in recent weeks in order to meet user demand.
“Right now 90-95% of our payouts are people asking for Bitcoin because it’s going up. We are constantly having to go out and buy Bitcoin — lots. Lots. More than we’ve even had to before,” he said.
The demand for bitcoin has led brokers to charge an additional 1.5% premium. Nagy said the business does more than 60% of its transaction volume in bitcoin, or about $100 million a month.
Aaron Brown, a crypto investor and writer, told Bloomberg crypto-asset enthusiasts may be leveraging poker sites to avoid taxes. The Costa Rica-based Winning Poker Network has users file their own winnings and losses. Brown says the current perception is that bitcoin is more difficult for U.S. authorities to track than traditional fiat payouts.
Nagy commented that crypto investors have attempted to utilize the poker site for fast liquidation in the past.
“When Bitcoin drops or does something significant, inevitably, we have people send us $100,000 or $200,000 in Bitcoin, because it’s the fastest way to liquidate it. And we are kind of stuck with it”.