Bitcoin has always been out on the fringe of the online casino industry, within the domain of operators in the Caribbean and South America who have less than stringent regulations to contend with.
Most of these have been trying to lure in American players who are unable to find any other way to bet online.
Yet Bitcoin made its first major stride towards legitimacy within the industry recently as NetBet, who poses a K gaming license, announced it was teaming up with Bitpay to allow for banking using Bitcoin at its casino and sportsbook.
One of the major obstacles Bitcoin has faced in the fight for legitimacy is its associated with the dark web – a shady alleyway on the internet where drug pushers, arms dealers and hitmen lurk, ready to accept Bitcoin for goods and services.
Another problem it has faced is the wild fluctuations in its value. A single Bitcoin is currently worth £525, but this can fluctuate by hundreds of pounds in a single month, meaning operators who accept it risk serious cash flow problems if they accept deposits at a lower exchange rate and Bitcoin suddenly swings up.
NetBet is prepared to take that risk, and a spokesman for the firm said that even with the wild fluctuations, the firm believes it will come out ahead financially by making the move.
The announcements marks a major step for Bitcoin and is a landmark moment in the online casino industry. While some have speculated that this is a way for American players to get back into the market, NetBet has made it absolutely clear that players living in restricted countries will not be accepted.
What the future holds for Bitcoin and what its role is in the casino industry we’ll have to wait and see, but many operators and players alike will be eagerly watching to see if NetBet’s gamble pays off.