News about bitcoin’s recent involvement in new markets and industries is being shared every day. It is becoming increasingly more common to see stories about governments exploring bitcoin, companies integrating bitcoin, and people enlightening friends, colleagues, and peers of bitcoin. Bitcoin is overcoming new obstacles each week. However, there are still a lot of areas that cryptocurrency has been unsuccessful in, and it’s important to acknowledge these shortcomings.
Gambit is a skill based player versus player competitive gaming site. The gameplay on the site is comprised of board and card games. Until the next couple of weeks, when changes to the site are made, players can host or join one of 15 games and wager against other players for a set amount of bitcoin.
Launched in 2013, Gambit has accepted bitcoin since day one. Gambit is owned and operated by a man who goes by the username Jay. Jay is also a co-owner of chess.com, a hugely popular online chess website. Jay has been running the site at a net loss since release, using his money earned from chess.com to pay out of pocket to keep the site going.
Arguably Gambit’s biggest dilemma throughout its life thus far has been its small playerbase. Despite hosting raffles, giveaways, bonuses, and affiliate programs, the site has never been able to attract a large audience. The name never caught on much among the bitcoin community. When a bitcoiner asked for a competitive gambling website, Gambit was most likely never the answer, for whatever reason.
One of the biggest issues supporting the removal of bitcoin was the difficulty to uphold legality. In the announcement, the site stated that it was both expensive and time consuming to maintain the proper licensing throughout all 50 states in the US. This has been a recurring theme for bitcoin casinos and businesses as a whole, and is definitely something that needs to be improved upon in the near future.
Another problem was a small market to begin with. In comparison to other bitcoin industries, gambling is still quite small. Many well known gambling sites struggle to maintain enough players to ensure a healthy profit, and skill based gambling is a much smaller niche within the young industry.
There were also a couple of problems unrelated to general issues with bitcoin. The community was a big problem. The small, frequent players were very friendly and got along well. The problem was everyone knew everyone, and they knew who to stay away from. As a result, regulars did not bet among themselves much, but instead picked on some of the new players who were just getting into the site. Many new players did not stay long, as they were constantly beaten by players with much higher skill.
Cheating is another common theme in bitcoin gambling, from either end of the operation. It’s obvious that cheating is evident in the industry, and Gambit didn’t have a good way to stop players from cheating the games, as some were fairly simple.
For the reasons listed above, the site has elected to discontinue bitcoin support. Once the feature is removed from the site, users will have 90 days to withdraw their bitcoins. The site plans on reworking the ranking systems and releasing a system of rewards and competitive seasons. A marketing campaign is set in the near future as the company creates a new image that incorporates a much broader audience of general online gamers. It appears that the site has no plans to reenter the bitcoin world, at least not in the near future.