Thursday, November 14, 2019

Will Cryptocurrency Gambling Kill Land-Based Casinos?

It’s hard to deny that the internet has radically changed the gambling landscape. Sure, the common perception of gambling may still involve the glitz and neon lighting of Vegas-style casinos or the welcoming atmosphere of quasi-seedy bookmakers, but it’s increasingly out of touch with how gambling actually works.

With 24/7 online connectivity, gamblers can indulge their passions without needing to leave their houses (or even bedrooms). They can simply start playing digital casino games through their laptops, tablets, or smartphones, no matter their exact location or the time of day.

And with the introduction of support for cryptocurrency payments, this modern approach to gambling is really rising in popularity. Why is this, and what is the future of gambling likely to involve? Will cryptocurrency-based gambling make classic casinos obsolete? Let’s consider it:

The appeal of cryptocurrency gambling

Firstly, let’s cover the core of this matter: the appeal of cryptocurrency payments in gambling. Why does it matter? Well, fiat currencies (dollars, pounds, etc.) are reliable, but don’t tend to fluctuate too much in value. For those who welcome some degree of risk, and want to have further opportunities to profit, there’s a great benefit to having money in cryptocurrencies — and getting paid directly into them simply makes life easier (as opposed to having to buy them).

From another angle, it’s also safer to get paid in a cryptocurrency. This is due to the security of the decentralized model. There are no intermediaries to interfere with transactions or alter fees. It’s possible to attempt a payment into a casino through a traditional bank and have it blocked because it seems suspicious. There’s no such safety net baked into the cryptocurrency model: you have control of your wallet, and you can do with it whatever you prefer.

How things will change in the future

The first thing to note is that using cryptocurrencies for online gaming is currently an effective no-go area in the US, so the law will need to change before it can become a realistic option. I can’t imagine that this won’t happen sooner or later, though, so we’ll look past it and think about how online gambling is going elsewhere.

If you check up on the most widely-used gambling services in the UK (such as those listed on Online Casinos), you’ll notice that many of them still don’t support Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies. There are two reasons for this: firstly, gambling services can understandably be reluctant to get paid in currencies they don’t understand or don’t consider reliable, and secondly, there isn’t yet enough demand to force them to adapt.

Assuming cryptocurrencies continue their move into the mainstream (as they should), then the pressure will build until it becomes standard for cryptocurrencies to be accepted. In a decade, it’ll be fairly surprising to see an online casino that doesn’t take Bitcoin at the very least — this will also be a result of general payment services becoming more flexible.

Why traditional casinos aren’t going anywhere

As much as I’d like to delay the answer to the titular question, ramping up the drama, it’s too obvious for that to be engaging. Very simply, no: cryptocurrency gambling won’t kill land-based casinos. There will always be a market for the conventional setup. Going to a traditional casino is about more than gambling: it’s about the overall experience, often with friends at your side.

And the ritual of going to the local bookmaker a few times every week is as much about community as it is about the money made or lost. The market for cryptocurrency gambling will continue to grow, and it may well be the dominant form of gambling one day, but the old ways will stick around. This is a good thing. It means that people have choices.

Cryptocurrency gambling won’t kill land-based casinos — it’ll work alongside them. Casinos will even have the option of offering online services and offline platforms to give their customers the luxury of gambling however they’d prefer to. Because of this, the future of the industry is fairly bright.

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