Bitcoin continues to tread on shaky grounds, both regulation and value wise. In Nevada, more businesses are opening up to the opportunity to transact with cryptocurrencies but the same cannot be said of the brick and mortar casino industry in the state.
Ever since bitcoin’s legendary shoot up in price last year, more businesses and industries started incorporating cryptocurrencies into their systems. The global gaming industry has been one of the very first industries to accept bitcoin. Gambling tycoon Calvin Ayre is building a bitcoin-funded resort in Antigua, where the primary currency of transaction will be bitcoin. Numerous online casinos have made bitcoin one of the main payment methods which has worked well for their patrons as bitcoin helps users to maintain their anonymity.
Nevada’s gaming industry has been reluctant to embrace bitcoin due to a number of reasons which include the potential for money laundering. There are very few land based casinos that accept bitcoin as major casino operators don’t seem to be very interested in the cryptocurrency industry at the moment.
Bitcoin Regulation In Nevada
In June 2017, Nevada became the first US state to pass a new blockchain friendly bill that prevented imposing taxes or licensing the use of blockchain. The measure was unanimously passed by the state’s legislation, thanks to the efforts of Nevada Senator Ben Kieckhefer, lead sponsor of the bill.
According to Kieckhefer, the state passed the blockchain-friendly bill so as to make Nevada the “home base” for startups and companies that focus on blockchain. Apart from the blockchain bill, Nevada has no other rulings regarding bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This lack of regulation towards the cryptocurrency industry has been the primary reason why businesses in Nevada have started experimenting with crypto transactions and at the same time why Nevada casinos have been hesitant to accept bitcoin due to potential loopholes.
D Las Vegas One Of The Few Bitcoin Friendly Casinos
D Las Vegas became the first Nevada casino to embrace bitcoin a few years ago. Casino owner, Derek Stevens said that he started hearing about bitcoin when tech industry workers who came into his bar started raving about their bitcoins, showing it into him, and saying that they wish they could spend their digital money somewhere.
As a small, privately-owned casino, D Las Vegas became the perfect starting point for the currency. Since then, Stevens started accepting bitcoin payments for hotel stays, and food and gift shop purchases.
D Las Vegas also runs a moderately sized casino floor but outright payment of bitcoin is not accepted in the casino. Instead, there is a bitcoin ATM where cryptocurrency can be quickly converted to dollars.
According to Stevens, he made sure that his ATM was on the clear and in compliance with the law. Although current state regulations do not require him to inform gaming regulators, he invited A.G. Burnett, then-chairman of the Gaming Control Board, when they installed the bitcoin ATM in his property.
Stevens said that he is surprised that his move to accept bitcoin payments have significantly boosted his hotel casino’s revenue. In fact, it has been a popular option amongst travelers who he noticed preferred to use bitcoin overseas because it was an easy way to hold value and transfer money.
Apart from D Las Vegas and the recently boarded-up Lucky Dragon, no other casino in Las Vegas currently embraces bitcoin as openly. Bigger resort casinos like MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands have explicitly said that they are not currently entertaining the idea of accepting bitcoin into their establishments. Other major casino chains like Caesars, Wynn Resorts, Station Casinos, and Boyd have all declined to comment.
Online Gaming Operators More Open To Crypto 
While many online casinos have started offering bitcoin and launching ICOs, brick-and-mortar casinos have yet to implement the same strategy. This is why in February, French gaming company Atari announced its plans to create Atari Token, which would be a new cryptocoin that will focus on the “blockchain platform in the field of entertainment.”
Atari says that they are developing the token for a variety of offerings such as games, movies, and music. But one of their biggest priority is creating cryptocurrency based online casinos. In partnership with Pariplay, Atari plans to launch a casino platform in 2018 that allows players to bet both in real money and cryptocurrency.

TightPoker Staff

TightPoker Staff

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