More than 18,000 global businesses today accept cryptocurrency payments, and there are also more than 300 million crypto users worldwide. 2021 was a breakthrough for cryptocurrency, especially as Bitcoin reached an all-time high price at $68,000 in November.
It’s no surprise that even gambling establishments are taking advantage of the rise in Bitcoin usage. Cryptocurrency is usually traded and treated as an investment vehicle, and many users tend to focus on the basics of trading and investment. Crypto has a similar user experience to stocks trading, where users analyze data in order to predict prices, sales, and even security. This ensures that the trade results in actual returns.
When paired with the increasing accessibility of the Internet that allows users to play more games online, trading and making bets through the internet have become common practice. Throw in the ever-evolving sphere of cryptocurrency in the mix and digital currency is now more accessible and changing the game in many ways for online poker.
How so? Keep reading below.
On Bitcoin payment
Exclusively using Bitcoin in online poker rooms was started by Seals With Clubs Poker (SwC), which was established in 2013 after the Black Friday event. Because Bitcoin is decentralized, transfers are instant with little or no transaction fees involved.
Since then, Bitcoin’s digital accessibility has appealed to poker game sites for the anonymous and untraceable advantage this provides players. Given that gambling can be a sensitive topic in many areas, cryptocurrency is a popular option for replacing the conventional methods of traditional payments.
On legalizing poker
Just how sensitive is gambling in 2022? While legislators have often butted heads on the issue, state lawmakers approved up to three full-service casinos in the New York City area just last April. This was a huge breath of relief for gaming enthusiasts, and coupled with the record high jump in gambling revenue as Covid restrictions were lifted, this can only mean good things for the industry.
However, sustaining this growth isn’t easy. Pandemic disruptions underscored the difficulty of predicting the outlook of casinos. According to experts, sustainable gambling tax revenue is only attainable by opening more casinos across other major cities, or legalizing new forms of gambling, like online gaming.
With that, legislators are considering the increase in cryptocurrency popularity. Incidentally, cryptocurrency doesn’t fall under the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, which bans banks from processing online wagers outside of states with legal poker sites in operation. This is because Bitcoin isn’t purchased from a bank but is acquired through a cryptocurrency exchange or app.
Digital coins have become a legitimate mainstream investment and cryptocurrency could be the key to legalizing poker across all 50 states. Cryptocurrency has already become the main form of funds in some sites like Americas Cardroom. With increases in Bitcoin’s value, and stability, that has gotten major investors like Tesla on board, legislation permitting poker sites in all 50 states to begin operation could very well be plausible.
On new technology
Future possibilities for online poker are endless, particularly with the latest developments in technology. Virtual reality casinos now allow players to interact with games in new ways. Video poker itself is presented similarly to those found in land-based casinos, with modernized versions of Deuces Wild and Jacks or Better. 61% of gambling businesses have already adopted the technology.
Metaverse locations like Decentraland are already buoyed by casinos, where players gamble for a chance at crypto wealth. It can be as simple as purchasing or borrowing a piece of virtual clothing at the casino that can later be sold for cryptocurrency. These poker rooms are run by Decentral Games, which doesn’t possess a gambling license in the U.S., and doesn’t look like it’ll be needing one anytime soon.
As U.S. regulators signal that online betting and cryptocurrencies are two of their top priorities, the gambling industry is reasonably hopeful for the contributions of cryptocurrency. Legalizing online poker nationwide could only mean immeasurable changes to the industry, possibly resulting in another poker boom similar to the one in the early 2000s.
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