Although gambling is a big industry, online gambling is still not as significant as it could be. Its proportion of the gambling industry currently hovers around 10%. However, over the last few years, online gambling have emerged as a popular choice among people. According to H2 Gambling Capital, the online gambling market in terms of gross winnings, has a global market value of €21.73bn ($28.54bn) in 2012. Interestingly, since the emergence of Bitcoin, the total value of online gambling is expected to increase multifold.
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It’s also true that gambling with Bitcoin only accounts for a tiny percentage of the total of online gambling revenues. However, those who have been observing the online gambling industry estimate that there is huge potential for Bitcoin to become a significant part of the online gambling industry, with several organization considering plans to start Bitcoin operations. Additionally, with Bitcoin’s advantages in terms of cost, transaction speeds, and digital currency-based gambling, it is likely that a number of Bitcoin gambling firms will start appearing in the near future.
This news report from Bitcoinist cited Jon Matonis saying that Bitcoin is a “digital casino chip: immediate, private, and irreversible,” which “enhances the gaming experience,” and dramatized its overall importance for the industry of online gaming entertainment, pointing out the possibility to avoid chargebacks and payment reversals with the help of the cryptocurrency as one of the principal benefits of the system for Bitcoin gambling. At ICE Conference 2015, Matonis also predicted that in approximately five years, five of the world’s ten major online casinos will exclusively deal in Bitcoin.
Why Bitcoin is Suitable for Online Gambling?
There are a lot of supporters of the online Bitcoin gambling industry who believe that Bitcoin can transform gambling because the Internet has the upper-hand over brick-and-mortar casinos. Additionally, unlike the brick-and-mortar casinos, online casinos don’t have to hire a bunch of employees, build fancy edifices, or wow gamblers with marketing tactics. Internet gambling in the United States operates in a legal grey area; to avoid legal hassle, many online casinos host their sites outside the US, in places like Costa Rica.
Some countries have stricter laws that prohibit Bitcoin itself, making Bitcoin gambling a distant vision. Therefore, it is essential for the companies exploring Bitcoin gambling to understand that they need to operate in a Bitcoin-friendly country or host their sites in countries where Bitcoin is legal.
Bitcoin also allows people to get around existing Internet gambling laws, which will eventually force regulators to rethink their approaches towards online gambling. For instance, in 2006, the US Justice Department introduced the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which was designed to quell the rising tide of Internet gambling sites. The law made it illegal for US players to process payments using US banks. However, Bitcoin has emboldened some entrepreneurs, who are openly allowing US players to gamble using the cryptocurrency as they can circumvent some ban. There is no banking at all done on the site; rather, it is a pure Bitcoin poker site, so this is a totally brand new thing for a lot of these people.
Undoubtedly, there are huge prospects for online Bitcoin gambling’s success. However, it depends on several factors like regulation, political will, and innovation. Even then, there is still a high educational barrier to entry, as people can transact with Visa and MasterCard without understanding how the payment network works, while using Bitcoin requires some level of technical knowledge.
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