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Cryptocurrency is moving from virtual exchanges to the gaming sphere as on-line casinos start accepting the digital currency. The move could spell lower participation rates for brick-and-mortar establishments as gamblers move to internet games due to the pandemic.
Notably, New Orleans-based Harrah’s now requires that their guests be vaccinated to play. This is the first U.S. casino to enforce new restrictions for guests as cases continue to rise across the country.
Gambling Enters the Cryptosphere
Gambling companies are replicating the in-person experience of betting in a luxury casino through virtual platforms. One of the advantages of going digital is the ability to accept and process payments with cryptocurrency. This also gives guests greater incentive to play as they earn tokens that can easily be redeemed for popular coins such as Bitcoin and ETH.
Additionally, companies create their own rewards system in which players earn native tokens and participate in a dividend pool. The more each player wagers, the greater number of native tokens they receive. At the end of a certain time frame, players receive shares of the casino’s revenue according to the amount of native tokens they hold.
One example is BTC365, a licensed casino created specifically for crypto holders. The platform accepts Bitcoin, ETH and USDT, but also supports additional tokens such as Dogecoin. The Las Vegas experience is not lost, however, and players have access to everything available in a physical casino. Games such as roulette and poker, as well as the ability to play on several tables at once.
Where these companies shine is in innovating the gaming experience and making it specific to cryptocurrency. These ‘crypto games’ are designed with digital tokens in mind and are entirely original. These games, along with proprietary VIP and rewards systems incentivize players to play and rack up their points.
This list of benefits could convince players to leave physical casinos entirely. And if that’s not enough, many gambling houses are heeding the warnings from state governors and mayors to enforce stricter regulations. One example is Harrah’s in New Orleans which now requires guests be vaccinated after the announcement of state-wide mandates.
Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel and Casino Requires Covid Shots
The news that a vaccination card required by the casino would be the only way to enter came as the city announced tougher measures. New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell announced the new restrictions for all businesses including bars, restaurants, and gyms. Additionally, even larger open spaces where people gather such as fairgrounds and race tracks would fall under the mandate.
However, the mandate also allows flexibility under the new terms. Guests may also present negative Coronavirus test results to enter, as an alternative to getting the vaccine. The mandate covers any activity which is considered a “high transmission risk” for people over the age of 12.
Many businesses across the country are requiring their employees to be fully vaccinated after the FDA granted approval of Pfizers vaccine. The news may convince more people to get a vaccine which would grant them access to vaccination card required establishments.
Specifically, many casinos currently require their employees to either get the vaccine, or pay for their own Covid-19 tests. The average cost of these tests without insurance ranges from $100 to $200, which would make it much cheaper to get a vaccination card.
Las Vegas Following Suit
In Nevada, Governor Steve Sisolak commented on the possibility of establishing similar mandates as New Orleans. In a statement, Gov. Sisolak stated that while he didn’t necessarily want harsher restrictions, they could be a possibility if vaccination rates did not rise.
Las Vegas is also seeing some casinos and events taking matters into their own hands. The Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival recently announced that they will require a vaccination card or else access could not be granted.
A post on the event’s Twitter page detailed their decision:
“Our most important duty as festival hosts is to keep you and your music-loving peers safe every festival weekend,” the post read. “We are putting extra measures in place for the 2021 festival to keep attendees safe from COVID-19”
Of course, with the popularity of Toto sites rising, there are also new fraudulent sites appearing. One way to play safely is through Mukcheck.com which creates a database of legitimate sites, as well as those considered fraudulent. Additionally, there are no covid restrictions, such as at Harrah’s as gameplay is completely online. This could be a new direction for gambler’s looking to escape the uncertainty of in-person gambling for the near future.
Curbing Restrictions with On-Line Gambling
For many who don’t want to take the vaccine or show negative Coronavirus test results, there is another option growing in popularity. Asian-based ‘Toto’ sites which host the largest on-line casinos offer a way to play from home, with all the luxuries guests expect.
Toto sites are secure and transparent, letting users create an account without the typical upfront costs of most online services. The sites offer anything from blackjack to poker, as well as slot machines and sports betting. One popular feature drawing many users is their high-stakes betting, called ‘Big Bang Betting’. Users can make one single high-sum wager and win big.
Toto also offers vetting and gambling history so that users can see each other’s reputation in other casinos. This is called a player’s ‘accident history’ and details any suspensions from other platforms. Thus, players can gamble with the peace of mind knowing that the site takes care to weed out scammers.
Advantages of Using Crypto for Gambling
There are also several benefits to using crypto in high-stakes transactions such as gambling. First of all, privacy is guaranteed which protects gamblers from fraud and unwanted attention. This is much more difficult to achieve in physical casinos. Additionally, players remain anonymous and rest assured that their data is fully protected.
The security behind crypto is also a widely known advantage to the cyber currency. Blockchain technology makes it very difficult to alter the database without a large part of the community knowing. It also makes it easy to track any changes, no matter how minimal, to their source. Encrypted transactions offer peace of mind in an industry that moves massive amounts of money daily.
Each transaction is also immediate, compared to delayed times processing winnings at regular casinos. Depositing and withdrawing from a virtual wallet is also quick and easy and mainly sidesteps the fees and verification processes charged by banks. Particularly, not dealing with any legal institutions is also a huge advantage.
Because cryptocurrency is largely decentralized, it is not subject to control by federal institutions. This means that taxes don’t apply and there are never any hidden costs apart from a standard fee which is sometimes used depending on the exchange. This means that players can withdraw their winnings hassle-free and with confidence that they’ll get exactly what they won.
When the dust from the pandemic settles, the gambling industry may see a great shift to digital games. And as more players opt for betting with crypto, confidence in the virtual currency can convince more to join. Still, digital currency remains one of the safest and most transparent options for transactions in an industry where peace of mind and reassurance means everything.