Gambling in the Blockchain World

online casino

Online gambling has had its ups and downs. So much so that many have wondered if the industry had entered the doldrums as of late. Without a doubt, the industry has certainly had more and more problems for a while now. But with Bitcoin, being the first of the distributed ledger systems, that has changed things significantly.  

There are Benefits for Online Gambling wherever Blockchain Technology is Concerned

Blockchain technology provides solutions to online gambling’s many problems. It offers security, privacy through pseudonymity, fairness, has a great chance for regulation, especially in offshore jurisdictions such as Curaçao, and it’s even environmentally friendly! Things have changed within the blockchain world significantly since the creation of the Bitcoin white paper in 2009. At the time, the gambling world was just warming up to the use of the Internet (check to find out more about the most reliable online casinos), but the traditional bookie who facilitated confidential bets was still the de facto standard.

The Unlawful Gambling Act of 2006 Destroyed Online Gambling

The 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was a technical knockout for online gambling. Before then, Internet gambling was flourishing. There was a significant rise in gamblers who used the available online platforms. After the act became law, things changed drastically for the entire online gambling industry. As a result, the number of Internet gamblers fell drastically. The US put in place a series of rules that focused mainly on payments and due diligence for players. The lifeline of all gambling platforms is the inflow of value. The move single-handedly starved Internet gambling operations of the much-needed funds. As a result, there was a net decline in the number of gamblers and gambling websites at the same time. Internet gambling sites all had to move offshore. Americans were banned from playing.

The rise of blockchain technology, including its global reach, allowed a new form of Internet gambling to ensue.

One where privacy and the long reach of the government couldn’t reach players.  Today, the online gambling industry has recovered based on the statistics and data available. But the industry is still hampered by the several problems that all centralized systems face. 

The Online Gambling Industry Seems Set to Explode 

In terms of numbers, the online gambling industry has grown exponentially in recent years. The gambling market had a value of $53.7 billion in 2019 alone. This year, things seem to have taken a positive turn. COVID-19 caused many physical businesses to close and Internet businesses boomed. Internet gambling is part of those “recession-proof” industries. 

The reason for this is the movement restrictions put in place because of the pandemic. The online values have gone far beyond the 2019 $59 billion estimate so far. 

Interesting Facts Emerge

Back in May 2020, the global online gambling and sports betting market report 2020 indicated a focus on blockchain technology for the first time in the history of the publication. Peer-to-peer payments (as one function of blockchain technology) are on the rise. This emerging trend indicates that the market may be growing faster than most parties realize. But if you’re going by the online gaming trends a decade earlier, things weren’t so rosy. 

Internet Gambling Numbers in 2009 Were Dismal 

In 2009, a random survey indicated that as many as 51.1% of the respondents never played online poker for money. It also happened when the 2006 Internet Unlawful Gambling Act was signed into law. The Internet gambling industry was worth a little below $25 billion. Internet gambling revenues at the time grossed $27.6 billion at the time. It shows that there was an apparent apathy against gambling and its related activities by the public. Over time, the deployment of blockchain technology in different use-case scenarios has given rise to renewed interest in the industry. Now, blockchain technology has more than succeeded where online gambling is concerned. Even then, trust in gambling systems, processes, and procedures has been an issue for many members of the gambling space.

Centralized Online Gambling Platforms Have Problems

The issues facing centralized online gambling have been a thorn in the flesh of the participants of the global online gambling industry. As a result of these various problems, many people have taken a renewed interest in deploying blockchain technology into online gambling. The many benefits of blockchain technology were what brought on this appeal. The transparency, trustless nature of blockchain systems, security, privacy, global distribution, decentralized nature, quick implementation time, and environmentally friendly nature of blockchain technology are what endeared people to this emerging technology. It also created a scenario where gamblers could interact with gambling platforms and each other without the need for complete trust.

Online Casinos: Can We Trust Them?

No industry has had a lack of trust like the online gambling industry has. This zero-trust scenario has ranged from various issues of fraud when it comes to handling player payments to the lack of casino games being provably fair. It has also led to the loss of potential profits that the online gambling industry could have made. The sharp practices have also led to further scrutiny by regulators across different jurisdictions. The mass use cases of blockchain technology have led to a situation where people distrust online casinos but must trust the systems that drive them. So, one may not trust online casinos but may trust their systems if they are driven by blockchain technology! The reasons for this stem from the many benefits that blockchain technology offers. More importantly, blockchain technology functions from the general idea of trustlessness. 

People Don’t Trust Each Other 

A 2016 survey among millennials indicates that only 19% believe that people are trustworthy. This has more to do with the many moral issues surrounding humans than with the actual lack of trust itself. Driving this lack of trust are the various abuses involving technology. Centralized systems have created all kinds of irregularities and problems. 

Leaving so much information in the hands of a few people has created a vacuum that allows these people to become powerful. So much so, in fact, that the abuse of confidence in the online casino industry has exploded. Several online casinos have been exposed as corrupt and, as a result, has lost the confidence and trust of the public. The great thing is that a blockchain’s distributed ledger allows for complete transparency. The kind of transparency where it becomes virtually impossible for any single entity to change outcomes. It is what gave rise to the new term “trustlessness” within the blockchain space. 

Types of Online Casino Activities

There are three types of online casino activities: poker games, sports betting games, and Internet casino games. 

All three types of games these days are driven purely by luck and are provably fair, especially where blockchain technology is employed. The online poker games have been a regular staple for Internet gamblers for many years and a hobby for many others. Especially now, when most people don’t get to meet in person all the time. Online virtual gambling rooms have increased exponentially. One new feature that is emerging is the deployment of videoconferencing platforms, like Zoom and other live video interfaces, to play live poker games over the Internet. 

On the blockchain side, platforms like Blockchain Poker and Coin Poker now allow players to use blockchain technology in their games directly. Sports betting has also been one of the biggest winners when it comes to the implementation of blockchain technology. Platforms such as Sports Bet and Bethereum are examples of cryptocurrency-themed sports betting sites. We already know that many of the casino gaming platforms have several integrations with different kinds of blockchain technology. Casinos Blockchain is one such example. Others include Cryptos Casino and Fun Fair, which have made reputable names in the blockchain casino space. From the way things are going, we shall see more types of integrations and iterations!

Blockchain in iGaming

iGaming has been seen by many as the promised land for blockchain technology. The reason for this is that blockchain technology is the perfect framework for just about any type of iGaming implementation.The decentralized application (or dApp for short) is one way that interactions in iGaming can interact fully with players. As for the data feeds that provide real-time information to players, the use of data oracles to feed this data is more than ideal. As such, we shall see a lot of growth in the iGaming sector of online gambling over the next few decades.

The Future of Gambling

Nothing is set in stone, but trends do dictate what things will be like in the coming years. Blockchain technology portends an interesting chain of events for the online casino industry. The world will adopt blockchain technology en masse in regard to online gambling. The many advantages that blockchain technology and distributed ledger technologies (DLTS) have to offer the world is something that everyone can look forward to. Games like Satoshi Dice, by Eric Vorhees, have proven to the world that full blockchain games are now possible. We shall also see new blockchains that will transform how people play online casino games, and these blockchains will be faster than those of the current generation.