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The future of online gambling – any chances without Bitcoin?



It's an open secret that many find Bitcoin, as well as the technologies behind it, fully capable of changing the way payments will be made in future. Alternatively, BTC may also become a threat to traditional fiat currencies – at least, such are some of the opinions voiced nowadays. But even if Bitcoin still continues to exist just as an auxiliary means of payment used alongside the money we've got so used to, it is more than obvious even now that the cryptocurrency has already started to influence the established branches of the global economics, at the same time building an industry of its own.

The arrival of Bitcoin laid the foundations of online Bitcoin industry – initially it was planned to become just the touchstone of the new industry, but, ironically, now Bitcoin is the most used cryptocurrency in online casino gaming. The number of players preferring Bitcoin casinos to the ones still accepting regular currencies is growing rapidly. Now, there are three times as many BTC gambling portals as there were in 2013. The new market is getting expanded, and there is probably nothing surprising about it. With all its numerous benefits, Bitcoin seems to be as if specially created to serve the online casino industry needs, and even if it fails elsewhere, it is very likely to retain its popularity in the world of gambling. The cryptocurrency may initially seem too unusual and unfamiliar to many, but it can become the ultimate solution for not just virtual casino game players, but also operators and their affiliates.

By now, each online casino operator has thought about completing their list of payment methods with bitcoins (if, for some reasons, they haven't still done it) at least once. And there are several really good reasons for that. First of all, it's much easier for entrepreneurs to start a BTC-based gambling project than the one involving traditional currencies, especially if you consider the operational costs. The difference is really great. Besides that, in most countries you are not required to have a gambling license to launch a Bitcoin casino, as BTC is not considered money. Then, Bitcoin is much more accessible to people out there having the Internet and willing to play casino games online.Quite frequently, players residing in certain countries and jurisdictions are unable to enjoy their favorite games for legal reasons related to gambling bans and prohibitions. Bitcoin offers a great, almost universal way to solve such problems.

Another Bitcoin advantage is the cheapness of the BTC transactions. No, Bitcoin is not completely free to use, but, compared to traditional payment systems and wire transfers, transfer commissions for Bitcoin are very close to 0. Undoubtedly, gambling operators see this as a great opportunity to attract more players to their portals, since Bitcoin transactions, including deposits and payouts, are final, i.e. cannot be reversed. Somewhat unsurprisingly, chargebacks are a rather problematic issue for real-money gaming websites.

If you're an online gambler, or have intentions to become one, Bitcoin can also be an alternative for you to consider. To begin with, Bitcoin can be used anonymously. You won't have to disclose your personal data or credit card details; just send the payment from your BTC wallet to the designated address of your preferred virtual casino or other gambling website, that's it.Secondly, all the transactions you make and receive (in your case, mostly fund deposits and withdrawals of winnings and bonuses) are performed instantly, so you won't have to wait days and even weeks to get your money. Another important aspect is fairness provability of many gambling websites – basically, it means you will be able to make sure the outcome of every wager you place is based on fair calculations and random disclosed numbersgenerated by a cryptographic algorithm. On top of that, thanks to the block chain technology on which Bitcoin is based, every single BTC transaction is transparent in the sense it can be tracked down and verified.

As you see, these are the basic benefits of the Bitcoin system making the cryptocurrency much more preferable by both online casino players and operators. The BTC gambling industry has already made its first steps along the path to global recognition, but its success cannot be guaranteed by solely the technologies it uses. The real breakthrough may occur in several years already, however, after certain improvements and modifications of the system take place.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 28 January 2014.

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