The global cryptocurrency market grew at unprecedented speed, turning into a trillion-dollar industry in just 12 years. Ever since Bitcoin’s launch in 2009, it has gathered a great deal of following from retail and institutional investors, including prominent personalities who believe in its potential.
Bitcoin is often used as a means of payment on various platforms, both online and offline. However, one area where bitcoin as a payment tool has not fully been adopted is land-based casinos.
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Although bitcoin is not new in the gaming world and online casinos, its use in brick-and-mortar casinos is yet to be explored. Online casinos began accepting bitcoin payments as an alternative to credit card payments and bank transfers, and here are some of the benefits they derive.
- Decentralization: Since no single entity or government control bitcoin, it allows players to bypass restrictive laws regarding deposits to casinos.
- Pseudonymous: Although bitcoin uses a public ledger that allows anyone to access data on the network, sending and receiving money via bitcoin does not require personal information like name and address.
- Faster and cheaper cross-border payments: By utilizing bitcoin as a payment option, online casinos can connect to clients from anywhere in the world without incurring exorbitant fees or waiting for days before the transaction is processed.
On the other hand, though, brick-and-mortar casinos allow gamblers to play slot machines and buy chips using various payment methods, including cash, credit cards, and bank transfers.
These land-based casinos seem to be content with the payment options that are currently available to them. But is that really the case?
Will Land-based Casinos Accept Bitcoin?
Although bitcoin payment has not been on the radar for land-based casinos, it is set to change as one of the largest gambling companies, International Game Technology (IGT), files a ground-breaking patent that seeks to enable brick-and-mortar casinos to accept bitcoin payments.
IGT is a multinational gambling company that produces slot machines and several other gambling technologies. The company is one of the earliest innovators of the slot machine.
The latest patent filing seeks to grant IGT the full permission to develop machines that allow gamblers on brick-and-mortar casinos to send bitcoin from their wallets to the casino and take out an equivalent amount of the digital asset in cash.
The patent stated that “The gaming establishment component processor to escrow the amount of cryptocurrency, establish a line of credit based on the escrowed amount of cryptocurrency, and modify a balance of a gaming establishment account based on the line of credit.”
The proposed machine also tries to speed up the transaction processes since nobody will have the patience to wait for a long time to receive their bitcoin before playing.
IGT plans to design it in a way that once players send the bitcoin to the casino’s wallet, they can go on to play on credit until the transaction is completed.
The patent is intended to introduce bitcoin payments to land-based casinos, with a clear view of the many benefits associated with it, including:
- Diverse Payment Options
Although players already have the option of cash and card payments, the introduction of bitcoin to land-based casinos will enable bitcoin holders to see additional ways to spend their cryptocurrency.
- Attracting Younger Players To The Scene
Accepting bitcoin payments in brick-and-mortar casinos will further help them overcome one of the major challenges in the gaming industry - attracting young players.
Since bitcoin is an innovative technology, many young investors are fast jumping into the trend and have accumulated some of the digital currency. Therefore, incorporating bitcoin into the payment methods in land-based casinos will entice these young players.
- Bitcoin’s Growing Popularity
For an asset class that came into existence a little over a decade ago, Bitcoin is fast revolutionizing the world’s payment system.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are quickly rising in popularity, and brick-and-mortar casinos must get into the space as soon as possible.
So, if IGT’s patent goes through, land-based casinos will be ahead of the game if bitcoin becomes the world’s dominant currency.
At the moment, the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for payment in land-based casinos has not been fully adopted. However, it is a prospect that is expected to happen sooner than expected.
With IGT working towards creating a machine that accepts bitcoin payments in land-based casinos, it is safe to say that bitcoin will soon be accepted in brick-and-mortar casinos.
For now, though, it will continue to be an essential payment method on online bitcoin casinos.