There was a time when bitcoin casino gambling was reserved for deep corners of the Internet, with sites like FortuneJack and SatoshiDice being the leading sources for bitcoin casino action. In order to play at these sites, you had to play specifically in bitcoin, and the amount of games that you were able to play was limited by what these less established sites had to offer, which was substantially less than what the major online casino sites provided.
Originally, bitcoin was used primarily by groups well outside of the mainstream. People interested in the digital aspects of bitcoin like the mining and coding that went into the currency. It also attracted people who didn’t trust banks and would rather store their money in a currency that doesn’t need to be physically stored.
Bitcoin did, however, experience a period of growth in terms of popularity, thanks to its ability to solve a major problem facing both online casinos and its players. That problem that needed solving was the restriction by the United States and other governments on banking transactions with online casinos and sportsbooks. With bitcoin’s lack of similar limitations, it became the perfect way for bettors in countries facing these pesky laws to fund their accounts and play.
Today, it’s nearly impossible to find a major U.S. facing gambling site that doesn’t accept bitcoin, with poker rooms and sportsbooks like America’s Cardroom and Bovada leading the charge. Perhaps the biggest benefit to the growth of bitcoin as a mainstream funding method for online gambling is the fact that players no longer have to bet in bitcoin. They can instead deposit using bitcoin and have those funds converted to their local currency by the gambling site, allowing them to only need knowledge of the value of one currency once their funds are deposited.
In countries where gambling is legal, bitcoin has not yet caught on quite to the degree that it has in the United States, although that could be changing. Australia and England, for example, do not boast bitcoin compatibility at all of their major gambling sites, with sites like Ladbrokes and SportsBet yet to embrace the trendy currency. Major operators in those countries deciding to adopt it would be a huge step toward making bitcoin a fully mainstream currency. England’s gaming commission deciding to endorse bitcoin is a good first step, but plenty of countries and operators still have progress to be made.
A lot of progress could be made with the addition of a major online casino’s adoption of bitcoin as one of its funding methods, as online casino giant PartyCasino is rumored to start offering bitcoin funding on a trial basis. They will start by enabling bitcoin transactions for one of their slot games, evaluate the popularity of the bitcoin capability, and then decide from there if it is worth expanding that funding method to all of their casino offerings.
What makes this such a huge step for bitcoin in the gambling community is that PartyCasino is a part of GVC Holdings PLC, which runs several massive online sports betting, casino, and poker outfits, with license to operate in 14 countries to the tune of over 4 billion Euros of sports wagers annually. Among their properties are sports betting site bwin, PartyPoker, and Sportingbet.
Should PartyCasino’s trial run with bitcoin funding in its slots be successful, it could open up the entire GVC Holdings suite to bitcoin funding in the future, something that would be huge for the bitcoin gambling industry and to help further legitimize bitcoin as a currency that can be used for both gambling and other pursuits.