The online gaming industry, known as iGaming, is one of the fastest-moving and forward-thinking sectors on the internet.
It has to be; often viewed with skepticism around its safety, it has to leverage every technological advance to keep people engaged and convince the public it is safe. The industry must be doing something well; global iGaming revenue for 2022 Q2 was up 8% year-on-year, although that compares slightly less favorably with the overall gambling market, which was up 11%. That could be because one of the biggest markets for physical casinos, the United States, has very limited provisions for iGaming.
The keep on top of physical casinos, online providers, must seek to offer something different, something that players cannot necessarily get in their local establishment. One such aspect of gaming they can explore is cryptocurrency and its use as both a deposit and withdrawal method. Indeed, some casinos have become designated ‘crypto-casinos’, which don’t deal in traditional payments.
What are the benefits to players of using such facilities? Read on to find out.
There’s no doubt that cryptocurrency is a safer payment method than traditional forms. There are fewer links in the payment chain; with no middlemen like a bank, payments go directly from one party to another. Also, crypto is considered safer than normal cash – it isn’t easily stolen. That’s not to say it isn’t impossible or without complications – it was recently revealed two people have been arrested and charged with stealing more than $4.5bn of cryptocurrency. However, at the lower end of the scale, it is certainly perceived to be safer.
Crypto is a legal gray area, which is a good thing for online casino and poker providers. One of the biggest potential markets is the US, but the legislation does not allow for cash games in many states. For instance, real-money online poker is only currently accessible in five states. However, bitcoin negates much of that, and in turn, it could lead to a wider market for gamers. Indeed, cryptocurrency in online poker is widely expected to aid positive reform. This is because The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 prevents iGaming sites from legally accepting online wagers outside of key areas, thus making it illegal for banks to process the transfers. Bitcoin negates that, cutting out the bank and leading to technically legal games, both in the US and in countries with blanket bans on iGaming and gambling.
Finally, crypto casinos can potentially increase revenue at both ends of the experience. Because there’s no bank or payment site taking a cut, more money goes into the industry. For the customer, that could mean increased prizes or, in the case of online poker, better rakeback. For the provider, it means potentially better revenues, and it is then up to them how they invest that money. They could take it as profit; they could deliver some of it back to the player or could invest it in their games. Remember, using a payment site like PayPal costs around 2.9% – with revenues of $1.2bn in Q2. That means potentially $34.8m in additional revenue in the industry per quarter.
The crypto bubble does seem to have burst recently, but that doesn’t mean the crypto industry has collapsed. The huge rises in value might have been curtailed, but there’s still a solid use for crypto worldwide, with iGaming one industry that seems highly suited to crypto payments.
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