When will blockchain casinos become mainstream?
Traditional casinos in the form of bricks and mortars have been around long before the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip. In fact, it is believed that the original land based casino can be traced as far back as the seventeenth century in Italy. Then in the late 1990s the industry went online, followed by the introduction of smart phone gambling. However, there is a common denominator that exists in all of the aforementioned platforms – centralization.
What we mean by this is that all control sits in the hands of the operator. Think about it. You sign up to an online casino, enter all of your personal information and then deposit funds using your debit card. At this point, not only does the casino have a significant amount of information on you, but they also have full control over your funds. Specifically, you are trusting that the online casino will play fair.
We are not suggesting that all online casinos cannot be trusted, but as history suggests, some do not play by the rules. This can be anything from rigged win ratios to the withholding of withdrawals. However, the innovation of cryptocurrency has created a sea-change in how players can access online gambling services – blockchain casinos.
What is a blockchain casino?
A blockchain casino is a gambling platform that operates through a decentralized eco-system. Much like in the case of Bitcoin, whereby each and every transaction is publically viewable on the blockchain ledger, every casino transaction can be independently verified.
By utilizing blockchain technology, there are many benefits for both the player and the operator. Here’s why.
Traditionally, when using fiat casinos, you need to supply an array of documentation such as a passport, bank statement and a copy of your debit card. This is to appease national regulators, who insist that players must be identified to comply with anti-money laundering laws.
On the contrary, by using a blockchain casino, you will need to deposit, stake and withdraw funds using popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.
Subsequently, as cryptocurrencies are not classed as money, they do not conform the same set of regulatory controls. Instead, most blockchain casinos allow you do transact with the platform without needing to supply anything more than an email address.
Barrier to entry for all
Following on from the previous point, by allowing players to remain anonymous, it completely removes the jurisdictional restrictions often experienced in certain countries. For example, in the U.S., online gambling is prohibited. When using traditional fiat casinos, there is no way around this as you need to supply your personal information before making opening an account.
Even more stringently, nations such as Vietnam and Malaysia do not even allow their citizens to access online gambling websites, as they block local IP addresses. This can easily be circumvented by using an anonymous browser such as TOR, whereby the player’s true location is hindered.
Blockchain casinos do not discriminate based on nationality, allowing players from any location to access their services.
Speed of payment and fairness
Blockchain casinos do not need to engage with the main-stream global payments network, which often results in slow withdraws and high fees. Instead, blockchain technology allows players to receive their winnings in hours, sometimes minutes. Further time savings are also made as blockchain casinos do not need to waste valuable resources on performing enhanced verification checks.
Potentially most importantly, the fairness of each blockchain casino game can be independently verified on the public ledger. For example, every time a spin of the roulette wheel is initiated, it is based on a cryptographically secure mechanism called provably fair. This ensures that each and every gaming outcome can be independently verified, which can viewed on the public ledger.
The use of Smart Contracts in online casinos
Ethereum smart contracts have revolutionized the online casino industry by introducing a transparent, trustless, and automated framework for various processes. In online casinos, Ethereum smart contracts serve as self-executing agreements that define the rules and conditions of games, wagers, and payouts. These programmable contracts eliminate the need for intermediaries and ensure a fair and verifiable gaming environment. Smart contracts facilitate transparent and tamper-proof record-keeping, enhancing the overall integrity of online casino operations. Players benefit from increased security and trust as the outcomes are dictated by pre-defined rules embedded in the smart contracts.
Additionally, Ethereum’s programmability allows for the creation of unique gaming features, promotions, and reward systems within the casino ecosystem. The use of Ethereum smart contracts not only streamlines processes in online casinos but also contributes to a more equitable and efficient gaming experience for users.
When will blockchain casinos go mainstream?
All these benefits sound great, and anyone that understands the advantages of decentralized gambling will no doubt ditch draconian platforms that take control away from the player. However, the key point here is that people are not well informed yet. Bitcoin was created in 2009, however it wasn’t until late 2017 that it reached main-stream publicity. The same could be said for blockchain casinos.
It is clear that more and more people are beginning to use them, which is evident in the amount of new operators entering the market. What cannot be argued is that the online casinos industry is in a state of transition, with blockchain technology sure to disrupt the status quo.
There are also a number of fiat casinos that are starting to merge cryptocurrency deposits within their platforms. However, this offers nothing to player, as the casino still operates through a centralized point of control. Ultimately, it is crucial for the crypto-community to spread the word, and help seasoned gamblers understand the many benefits of blockchain casinos.