Gambling remains one of the greatest American industries with a never-ending potential for growth. Online portion of the industry is still relatively small – 8 percent (although these 8 percent is 28.5 billion $. With a B). Furthermore, expected growth of this portion of the industry is roughly 9 percent annually.
At this point, crypto-currency such as Bitcoin is a small portion of online gambling world, but this is soon to change – a recent deal between iGaming Business and GoCoin might be a glimpse into the future of iGaming and online gambling in general. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, because Bitcoin and online gambling make a great match in fulfilling customer needs.
In the United States, online gambling is legal in three states – Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada, and, interestingly, they have taken different approaches to regulation issues. In all three states, only brick and mortar casinos can get an online gambling license. In Nevada and New Jersey, the casinos can partner up with any online gaming operator they choose, while in Delaware, the state has made an exclusive deal with 888 Holdings and Scientific Games. It’s should also be noted that online gaming license in Nevada applies only to online poker, whereas in the other two states it extends to all other casino games.
Advantages of Bitcoin
First of all, Bitcoin is accessible via internet, what makes it more reachable than Visa or MasterCard. These services are still not available in more than 60 countries, while Bitcoin is truly a worldwide phenomenon. Also, using other online paying services is susceptible to complicated regulations, varying from country to country, which is not the case for Bitcoin.
With privacy being the biggest concern of our time, Bitcoin truly seems to be the most convenient solution. Transactions do not contain sensitive information (so there’s no fear these can be shared with third party institutions – both government and private ones).
Bitcoin doesn’t suffer from broken or disallowed merchant category codes (MCCs) in the way centralized payment networks do. Government entities such as central banks can’t confiscate or impose an embargo on Bitcoin payments because its public ledger is decentralized. Processing fees for Bitcoin are user-determined and significantly lower than the fees in traditional payment methods.
Finally, payment in Bitcoin is almost immediate in both directions (confirmations can take up to one hour) unlike those in conventional paying methods, which can take days. This speed goes well with an experience of online gambling environment.
Spreading the word
The biggest challenge to using Bitcoin as a currency of online gambling remains a high educational barrier required for the entry. People are familiar with credit cards or PayPal services, but Bitcoin itself is still new and it can take some time for the customers to get used to it. Moreover, there is a certain level of technical knowledge required to use it, but this will become less of a problem in time.
Companies are already starting to invest in educating the customers on various legal and technical aspects of Bitcoin. Those who get in on it early will, of course, have an advantage in the field.
Possibilities for innovation
Bitcoin has already changed the online gaming industry, both in terms of funding and in terms of games themselves. For example, sites such as Just Dice did not exist until Bitcoin came along, what ultimately revolutionized gambling investment by allowing users to invest in a gambling operator – basically crowdfunding the casino.
When it comes to games, hundreds of new ones are being invented on a regular basis. Game called Bustabit is taking advantage of speed (or immediacy) in which Bitcoin transaction operate.
It’s “social Bitcoin gambling game in which you place a bet and cash out before the bust event”.
The best thing about cutting-edge technological advancements is that the newest invention can come out of nowhere, and at any time. Teenager with computer skills could come up with a new hit game in his basement and make millions of it.
Although Bitcoin is relatively new and still represents just a small portion of gambling market, it definitely is the future of the industry. It’s uniquely suited for the needs of online gambling and fruitful cooperation of the two can just expand.
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