Online Casino vs Decentralized Casino
The cryptocurrency revolution has grown significantly over the past 12 months – however the average citizen would still struggle to tell you what it is. The many features and benefits of the virtual economy are therefore still unknown to the vast majority. One sector that is set to reach new heights is the online gambling industry, not least because of its ability to decentralize itself – handing full control over to the players who wish to gamble. This brief article will explore the key differences between a traditional online casino, and that of a decentralized nature.
Enhanced Player Verification
Although the competition that exists between traditional online casinos is in the thousands, the end-to-end gambling process varies little, if at all. A player will open a new account, and will be required to provide a long list of personal information. This will consist of a full name, address, and date of birth, to name a few. However, the verification controls do not end there. Under most gambling licensing conditions, players must identify themselves by supplying government issued photographic ID (such as a passport or driving license) and a proof of address. Quite often, to ensure that they remain compliant, casino operators will often ask for further documents such as a copy of a player’s debit or credit card. Although it could be argued that such practices are highly unfavorable –players see this as the norm. That was until the introduction a decentralized casinos.
If a casino operates on a decentralized model, it essentially removes the need for a third party to facilitate a bet. Instead, smart contracts that operate on a predetermined if/when protocol can validate traditional casino games such as blackjack, slots and roulette. This means that to fuel the network, cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum are needed to reward the mining community in return for verifying a movement of funds. As a result, cryptocurrency does not fall within the remit of domestic anti-money laundering legislation, meaning that players can gamble anonymously. Moreover, no account is needed to access the casino, as players gamble through their unique wallet address, not their identity. This has opened the floodgates for citizens living in nations were online gambling is completely prohibited – notably the US. Even if users cannot access casino related content because their respective governments have blocked it, players can simply use an anonymous browser such as TOR.
Legitimacy of a decentralized casino
Online fiat casinos have been operating since the mid-1990s, whereby the key factor that determines their success or failure is reputation. These centralized casinos offer no safeguards for players who are concerned about the fairness of each game. Imagine playing online slots for hours on end, but having no tangible way of auditing the historical gaming data? Traditional online casinos keep their server databases kept behind closed doors, meaning that players have no choice but to trust the operator’s legitimacy. On the contrary, decentralised casinos run on a trust-less, open source protocol – allowing players to verify that each independent gaming outcome has been randomly generated through a cryptographic algorithm. This has all been made possible with the innovation of blockchain technology, which acts a public ledger available for all to view.
Speed of withdrawals
When a player decides that they would like to withdraw their gambling winnings from an online fiat casino, each request must subsequently be sent to the payments department. This is to ensure that no malpractice has occurred, and allows the casino to perform additional checks in respect to suspicious betting patterns. This is also the point where the player may be asked to submit additional documentation. As a result of this regulatory red-tape, players often have to wait days, if not weeks, for their funds to be returned. This is further amplified by banking delays. It is interesting that deposits through debit or credit cards are instant, however when withdrawing funds, the process takes significantly longer.
Such delays do not exist at a decentralised casino, not least because smart contract applications are predefined to release funds instantly. For example, if a user is staking Ethereum coins through a decentralised blackjack game, their funds are held in escrow until the hand is complete. If the player wins, the Ethereum coins are instantly sent back to the player’s wallet. This removes the need for casino players to have their payment requests sent to a centralized department, as the smart contract is fully automated.
This article has highlighted some of the fundamental differences between a traditional fiat casino and a decentralised casino. The end-to-end gambling experience has subsequently moved in favor of the player, removing the need for trust to exist. No longer do players need to hope that the online casino is playing fair – as each and every game play can be independently verified on the public blockchain. Players also have the opportunity to gamble anonymously, without needing to supply any sensitive documents such as a passport or bank statement. Finally, instead of having to wait days, if not weeks, for withdrawals to be processed, decentralised casinos allow instant, automated payments to be sent straight back to the player at the end of each game. The online casino industry’s future is bright – the future is decentralised.