How Cryptocurrency and Blockchain could Reinvigorate Casinos

How Cryptocurrency and Blockchain could Reinvigorate Casinos

Last Updated on June 14, 2021 by Editor Futurescope

It is no secret that 2020 knocked the stuffing out of many industries. Businesses folded overnight including some big-name victims.

Retail names that have been around two hundred years found themselves failing with Brooks Brothers filing for bankruptcy along with J.C. Penney. Even Chuck E. Cheese floundered despite its popularity as restaurants were ordered to close or had their capacity reduced due to social restrictions

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The pandemic hit the gambling industry hard too with the American Mecca of casinos, Las Vegas, seeing a huge drop in arrivals. Numbers in 2019 were over 40 million, but in 2020, there were only 19 million visitors in total which includes the first quarter where there were mostly no restrictions.

The casino business is nothing if not resilient though and has long adopted new games, new tactics, and new technology to push themselves forward. Is it possible that crypto and blockchain might offer casinos a way forward? 

What is the state of casinos in 2021?

There are two areas to consider when it comes to casinos in modern times, the traditional land-based version and the online and mobile versions.

There are many ways to earn money by playing games online and in 2020, people discovered online casinos more than ever before. While the land-based casinos floundered, their online relations kept growing.

They also started to adopt the use of bitcoin which is where land-based casinos are still trailing behind. The current state is that most casinos are starting to head back to normal capacity or close to, but the footfall has not returned to normal yet. Whereas, a casino online can still pack in the numbers. 

How will crypto and blockchain affect the futures of both types of casinos?

There are a number of areas that bitcoin and blockchain will affect and it will depend on how the casinos decide to adopt the technology. It will also depend on what regulations are in place as bitcoin is still not recognized as a currency in most countries with the exception of Japan.

So, making casinos in Japan makes sense then? Sadly, no. Japan outlaws most forms of gambling except a few very specific sports events and pachinko, the game that takes in more money than Las Vegas casinos combined. It can be used in online and brick-and-mortar casinos based elsewhere though and in some instances it already has. 

Cryptocurrency as a payment method in traditional casinos

Some resorts and hotels have already started to make use of bitcoins and are letting their guests have more freedom with their payment methods.

The D Las Vegas and the Golden Gate Casinos have both installed bitcoin ATMs in their hotel lobbies. While this hasn’t led to radical changes it has allowed guests to use their bitcoin wallets to withdraw dollars instead of just their usual debit and credit cards.

When it comes to gambling though, it is still strictly cash. There is some hope though that regulations are going to change and Vegas casinos will be given a welcome boost by allowing bitcoin on the gaming floor. Cyprus already has one casino that accepts bitcoin so there is a precedent, just not in the States yet. 

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Online casinos and bitcoin

There are a large number of bitcoin only casinos online now. This was actually a problem for a while as bitcoin is not regulated. If someone wanted to play slots in an unregulated bitcoin casino then there was a risk the website could disappear overnight or the winnings would just not be paid out.

Cryptocurrency as already mentioned is not a legal currency. Therefore, it was impossible to regulate bitcoin only online casinos. Now the big brand names have got in on the act and there is no more reason to risk going to an unlicensed or unregulated casino.

The risk of losing money to unlicensed casinos is slightly ironic when you consider that blockchain is supposed to be secure.

Security levels are improved

There are different areas where blockchain is proving useful and transparency and security are two of them. When it comes to gambling online, many people are worried about financial details being safe. Now that online casinos are adopting the use of crypto, gamers can enjoy more anonymity, a higher level of security, and more transparency.

Casinos and transparency are not two words that always go together but blockchain when used in a decentralized nature could change the way online casinos run. 

Decentralized casinos might become a thing

Decentralized applications or dApps are open-sourced and run on decentralized blockchain networks.

If the casino industry could adopt this technology then it would make the player’s experience much more transparent and perhaps fairer. It would be nigh on impossible for anyone to cheat the system with blockchain technology being used.

All bets and information about them would be stored on a transparent ledger. There are a number of other benefits for the user too. Payouts would be far quicker and smoother.

Currently, many casinos online and sports books take a day, two days, or longer to pay out winnings. There may be a verification process to go through or it may just be the rules of the particular casino in question. With blockchain, the payouts would be secure and instant.

Card games could be run very differently also. Players might pay a one-off fee or a percentage of their winnings to the casino to line up at a poker table, and the bets would then be sent through blockchain as the game progresses. 

Summary

Casinos will no doubt carry on even if the numbers don’t return for a while. Las Vegas, Macau, and Monte Carlo are unlikely to lie down and die. New technology such as face recognition is already being employed in slot machines so it seems highly unlikely that they won’t make the most of blockchain.

At first, it may only be bitcoin and payment methods that you see changed, but soon blockchain might start to be used in far more interesting ways.

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