I’m not much of a gambler, so I was surprised recently to find out that there are casinos out there that actually take Bitcoin. It makes sense though; the anonymity of Bitcoin is an attractive option for folks who have friends or employers who disagree with gambling.
For people who like to gamble, there’s also the element of carrying Bitcoin being a gamble in and of itself. Bitcoin values fluctuate, sometimes wildly, which is an attractive way to gamble.
How it Works
While traditional casinos use chips in lieu of cash, Bitcoin casinos take cryptocurrency.
Because of the technological nature of Bitcoin, casinos must take great care to ensure their software programs are transparent and are maintained with a high level of integrity. In many cases, these casinos are still subject to local laws to protect gamblers from fraudulent activities.
Heavy Online Presence
While there are some physical casinos now accepting Bitcoin alongside other payment types, the most significant presence for Bitcoin gamblers is online.
Online poker and sports betting has become a primary avenue for gamblers desiring to use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a payment avenue.
Business as Usual?
While the payment form may not seem to have an effect on those who gamble, or the amount they gamble, it’s possible that the inherent distrust of new technologies could eventually slow the adaptation of Bitcoin in casinos.
For players who lose, they’re likely to blame ‘the system’ even if it’s fully transparent. This is always the case in gambling scenarios, but even more so with new technologies.
As a result, many online casinos are adapting open source software, which allows the code to be publicly reviewed for fraud or other biases. However, open source can be a double-edged sword, allowing the code to be publicly reviewed for vulnerabilities and avenues for potential exploitation.
While Bitcoin casinos promise a new and exciting way to implement technology, it might still be smart to hold onto that wallet a little longer.
With most new technologies, we’re currently living in the ‘wild west’ phase with cryptocurrency. During this time, it’s likely there will be a lot of big winners and losers, and many of them will fall on one side or the other through unethical means.
My bet is to wait until there’s a good amount of regulation protecting consumers before putting any of my Bitcoin onto the poker table… which might just be a gamble in and of itself.