Land-based casinos allow gamblers to use a variety of payment methods to play slot machines and buy chips. Players can use cash and major credit cards to get the necessary funds to start placing bets.
Bitcoin (BTC), on the other hand, hasn’t even been on the radar in brick-and-mortar casinos. After all, land-based establishments aren’t like online casinos, where they can take all sorts of digital payment methods.
This is all set to change, though, because International Game Technology (IGT) has filed a revolutionary patent. IGT plans to let gamblers use BTC for obtaining funds.
How will gamblers be able to bet with a digital currency at brick-and-mortar casinos? You can find out below by reading about how IGT plans to implement this system and what the advantages will be.
Bitcoin Has Always Been Limited to Online Casinos
Bitcoin is certainly nothing new in the gaming world and beyond. This cryptocurrency first launched in 2009 and has since gained lots of steam.
One BTC is worth a whopping $38,000 at the time of this writing. Many people speculate on Bitcoin’s value as an investment tool. After all, it has gone from being worth one cent in 2009 to its current valuation.
As of the mid-2010s, Bitcoin is also a popular deposit method in the online gaming world. Mobile casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks began accepting BTC at this point as an alternative to popular banking methods like credit cards and bank transfers.
Many real money online casinos had trouble developing working relationships with established payment processes. Therefore, they turned to the decentralized BTC.
The decentralized aspect means that Bitcoin isn’t under the control of banks or other third parties. Therefore, a bank or e-wallet can’t reject BTC casino deposits. This aspect makes Bitcoin the perfect payment option for gaming sites that operate in grey areas (e.g. most US states).
Of course, it also brings up the question of why land-based casinos, which offer operate in perfectly legitimate markets, would accept BTC. As you’ll see below, though, brick-and-mortar casinos also stand to benefit from taking Bitcoin as a payment option.
IGT Patents Crypto Transfers to Slot Machines
Launched in 1975 as SIRCOMA, IGT was one of the earliest innovators of slot machines. It has developed numerous slots over the years and has driven innovation.
However, it hasn’t done as much innovating in recent years. Instead, the multibillion-dollar giant spends more time mass producing its older slots hits and shipping them out.
However, IGT is harkening back to their older days by leading the way with Bitcoin. They’re the first slots developer to truly dive into this space.
The aforementioned patent deals with: “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.”
Simply put, this patent gives IGT the legal right to develop machines whereby players can send BTC from an online wallet to the casino. They can then take out an equivalent amount in cash.
Of course, cryptocurrency transactions can take hours or days to complete. Nobody would wait this long to receive their BTC in the casino.
IGT’s proposed device has this angle covered, though. Players will essentially be gambling on credit until the funds arrive. Once the Bitcoin does arrive in the relevant casino’s wallet, then everything will be settled.
How Bitcoin Slots Can Help Land Based Casinos
IGT wouldn’t go to the trouble of obtaining a BTC-related patent if they didn’t think it could help them. Here are the main ways that IGT and brick-and-mortar casinos will benefit from cryptocurrencies.
Another Payment Option
You can already use cash and credit cards to obtain gambling funds in casinos. These options are more than enough in most cases.
However, you may be a tech-savvy person who likes using crypto whenever possible. Or you might simply own Bitcoin and be looking for ways to spend it.
Regarding the casinos, they benefit by attracting a different crowd. The average Bitcoin gambler will be slightly different from the everyday person who brings cash into the casino.
Staying With the Trends
The gaming industry has had trouble drawing younger players lately. They especially facing an uphill battle when trying to attract millennials to slot machines.
Therefore, casinos have been thinking of ways to bring younger gamblers into the casino. Bitcoin is a trendy way to accomplish this goal.
Most people have only gotten into BTC within the last 2-3 years. That said, Bitcoin is still one of the trendiest payment methods in gambling. Those who see that certain Las Vegas casinos take Bitcoin might think that’s cool to visit these establishments.
An Eye towards the Future
Bitcoin doesn’t seem poised to take over fiat currencies, like the US dollar and British pound, anytime soon. However, some have floated the notion that BTC could become the world’s dominant currency.
Much must happen for this prediction to come true. After all, Bitcoin is viewed as an investment vehicle first and foremost.
If BTC ever does become a preferred, or one of the preferred, currencies worldwide, then land-based casinos will be ahead of the game. They won’t need to make big adjustments because they’ll be accepting Bitcoin already.
Pros of Using BTC at Brick-and-Mortar Casinos
Casinos aren’t the only ones who stand to benefit from Bitcoin. You can also enjoy the following advantages by using BTC in land-based gambling establishments.
Bitcoin transaction fees vary based on the network congestion and how much you choose to pay miners. Generally speaking, though, you won’t pay very high fees when using BTC.
The same can’t always be said when using ATMs and credit cards. You’ll sometimes pay a 3% fee or higher to get your cash.
Obviously you don’t want to give money to a third-party that could, instead, be used to win in the casino. Therefore, you should consider using Bitcoin if you want to reduce cash withdrawal fees.
Ease of Use
Cryptocurrency may seem hard to use in the beginning. After all, you need to visit an exchange and purchase crypto before even using it.
Furthermore, you may find the lengthy wallet addresses confusing when sending and receiving money. The good news, though, is that you won’t experience much trouble using cryptocurrencies after getting the hang of them.
In fact, you may find using cryptocurrency similar to the e-wallet experience. You’ll be able to use make transactions within less than a minute once you’re used to the matter.
Doubles as an Investment
Earlier, I mentioned how Bitcoin has reached an insane valuation. Just in the last several months, BTC has jumped from being worth $10,000 per unit to $38,000.
Of course, Bitcoin could fall rapidly after reaching this lofty height. But then again, it could continue skyrocketing even higher.
If you’re somebody who likes rolling the dice on investments, then you’ll love having a BTC bankroll. You’ll be gambling on two fronts in this case.
How to Get Bitcoin
As mentioned earlier, you need to buy Bitcoin before using it. Luckily, this process isn’t very difficult.
You can purchase BTC and start gambling with it online — or in Vegas casinos in the future — within a short time span.
The first step to obtaining Bitcoin involves visiting a fiat-to-crypto exchange. The latter allows you to trade flat currencies, such as USD or the euro, for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
An exchange requires you to register for an account before doing anything else. Once registered, you need to visit the account section and enter your banking or credit card information.
This info will be used to send money from your bank or credit card to the exchange. When you have funds onsite, you’ll be able to buy BTC.
If you plan on gambling with Bitcoin in a land-based (future) or online casino, then you just need to obtain the casino’s wallet address. This address serves as the recipient for the transaction.
You’ll need to enter how much crypto you’d like to send to the casino. Upon confirming the transaction, you simply need to wait for the funds to arrive. These transactions may only take 15 minutes or less to complete.
For now, cryptocurrencies will remain exclusive to online casinos. As IGT’s patent shows, though, crypto should become available in land-based venues in the near future.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are quickly rising in popularity. Therefore, it’s good that brick-and-mortar casinos are getting into the space.
They will be able to attract a different breed of gambler by accepting crypto. They’ll also give their customers the option to use something beyond credit cards to make cash withdrawals.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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