When Will Bitcoin Hit the Casino Floors of Las Vegas?

By admin / December 14, 2017

There’s no doubt that Bitcoin has certainly made its mark over recent years, as the most recognized digital currency and peer-to-peer payment network, offering instant and anonymous transactions across any border and in any amount. Despite initial skepticism, cryptocurrencies and their values have grown at a phenomenal rate, forcing more traditional investors and financial markets to really sit up and take serious notice.

It has become important in understating the internet as consumer demand has been the driving force behind major innovations in the online gambling industry. There’s no shortage of places to spend your BTC online if you want to play roulette, blackjack or slots. However, if you’re visiting the casino floors in the most famous gambling city in the world, Las Vegas, you still can’t spend your Bitcoins directly on casino floors.

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As a city, Las Vegas has embraced the Bitcoin revolution, with sites such as Bitcoins in Vegas highlighting a wealth of commercial enterprises accepting the virtual currency with the same ease as any cash or credit card transaction. You can get a haircut, buy household goods, hire a lawyer and even get your pool serviced locally, while more ATM machines are becoming increasingly available throughout the city, making it easier to switch your Bitcoin to cash dollars you can spend elsewhere.

However, you still can’t gamble Bitcoins or any digital currency at the casino tables themselves, but if you are visiting Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas, you will find that at the Golden Gate and The D casinos, your Bitcoins will be accepted for pretty much everything else. Bitcoin ATMs are available nearby and both accept the currency directly, if you want to pay for your hotel stay or most any other purchase at the venues, so long as you have ready access to your coins and wallet.

Meanwhile, if you want to gamble with your Bitcoins, you will still have to convert your funds into USD cash, and for the foreseeable future, there looks to be no alternative. Gambling online is a breeze with your cryptocurrencies, but at physical casinos throughout the US, driven by heavy and stringent regulation in Nevada as the country’s largest gambling market, policymakers are still dragging their feet.

“We have looked at digital currencies and do not find them appropriate for use in casino gaming at this time,” AG Burnett, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, told CoinDesk in a March 2017 interview. “Our regulations and statutes are all based on monetary units that are standard, such as the US dollar,” he added, before underlining that “there are multiple types of digital currencies, whereas there is only one US dollar.”

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Nevertheless, while we might still be a few years away from being able to spend Bitcoin directly on Las Vegas casino floors, there is a growing acknowledgement in the city that changes are needed. One key issue casinos are keen to resolve is their heavy dependency on cash transactions, compared to other industries, with estimations calculating that as much as 95% of all casino floor transactions are conducted in cash; paper and metal.

Federal law enforcement agencies are continually putting pressure on casinos to tighten their anti-money laundering efforts, which means the only true way forward will be increased digital transactions being accepted, rather than cash. This would appear to pave the way for physical casinos, like their online cousins, to start evolving and also begin accepting digital currencies in the not too distant future. Like any business, they are starting to realize that either you keep pace with the latest innovations, or you get left behind.

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