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What Major Barriers Do Casinos Have When Trying to Adopt Bitcoin?

Christopher Owens

Bitcoin has been around for a decade now. And although adoption has been uneven across countries and industries, a variety of major companies have begun opening their doors to the cryptocurrency. These businesses include Microsoft to leading tech companies, Virgin Galactic in the travel industry, Subway in the food industry, and Newegg.com in the world of e-commerce. However, one key industry lagging behind is the US casino sector.

In fact, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has yet to create rules on the use of cryptocurrencies in casinos. Representatives say that no one so far has requested permission to accept cryptocurrency as casino chips. This is surprising considering the fact that Nevada is one of the most blockchain-friendly states to date, according to a previous report on Bitnewstoday.

To be fair, there are a select few establishments in Nevada that do accept Bitcoin. The D Las Vegas accepts Bitcoin for hotel stays, and as payment at its restaurant. It also accepts Bitcoin for gambling, except that the cryptocurrency can only be wagered after you convert it to cash at a special ATM found in the casino.

Why is Bitcoin adoption slow for casinos?

Aside from pointing out the lack of demand for cryptocurrency payments, the NGCB admitted that it would have a difficult time assessing how it would tax Bitcoin if operators start accepting bets with it. This is largely because of Bitcoin’s infamous volatility.

The NGCB’s other concern is how to identify the people behind payments when it comes to Bitcoin. Since the cryptocurrency runs on blockchain technology, the board fears that the anonymity factor will invite criminal activity and fraud.

However, cryptocurrency proponents would say that the board simply lacks education on the matter. With the right tools such as the Bitcoin SV, the board can accept cryptocurrency payments without security risks. Bitcoin SV’s ecosystem can expose illegal activity since it records transactions publicly. But so far, no casino has taken on tools like this to make cryptocurrency gaming a reality in their halls.

On the other hand, the case is different for online casinos. More online casino companies are open to accepting cryptocurrencies because of the advantages they bring. Since online casinos have to deal with cybersecurity threats, blockchain technology can help minimize or even eliminate the risk of fraud. The same technology can also grant anonymity for users who just want to get right into the action. For comparison, traditional casinos usually have to check certain documents before a guest can play at the machines or tables.

What’s going on beyond the U.S.?

Elsewhere in the world, cryptocurrencies have better chances in the gambling industry. ExpatBets indicates how there are Asian countries that legally allow online casinos, like the Philippines. Since China has banned gambling in general, Chinese players with money to spend have the option of playing online casinos registered in the Philippines. These situations are huge opportunities for cryptocurrency to shine due to their decentralized nature. Again, the one major barrier would simply be government regulations on gambling or cryptocurrencies.

28-01-2019 16:16:31  |   Analytics
In truth, the casino industry isn’t alone in dealing with these limitations. Government bodies around the world are also still in the process of figuring out what regulations to place on cryptocurrencies. The cause of delay can be attributed to the debate on whether cryptocurrency should be considered as a currency, or security, or a property. And until details like this are ironed out, mainstream adoption of Bitcoin might just remain a little out of reach for US casinos.

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