Hackernoon logoAre provably fair games going to be the next big thing in the online gambling industry? [Interview] by@Ishan Pandey

Are provably fair games going to be the next big thing in the online gambling industry? [Interview]

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@Ishan PandeyIshan Pandey

Technology Lawyer working on code and everything law. Founder : Blockchain Research

“I have a dream” that one day all forms of online gambling will be possible on the blockchain and users won’t need casinos or anyone else to withdraw, deposit and bet/win.


I sat down with Mr Tornike Razmade for an exclusive “Behind the startup” interview to talk about his story, his journey, and the future of the online gambling industry. In this interview, we spoke about the tech scene in Georgia, how crypto is disrupting the gambling industry and what trends and challenges he sees in the future.

1.  Welcome to our “Behind the Startup” series. Tell us about your story and your journey into the tech industry?

When I was seven, I got my first computer IBM XT 286. After that day I wanted to know everything about computers. My father did some coding back then, and I used to sit next to him watching all those strange combinations of “words” and “symbols”, and I knew that I wanted to learn it. From that moment on, I’m still learning.
During my career, I’ve Worked on several web development companies. Created a couple of custom made content management systems and worked with open sources. I’ve grown from working on simple projects by myself to being a team leader in the best crypto casino in the world. Despite my managerial position, I write code daily with my team of more than 20 software engineers.

2.   Tell us about the story behind Fortune Jack, and the experience of building a successful tech startup in Georgia?

Fortune Jack’s first website was launched in 2014, and it was one of the first crypto casinos in the world. During the same time, we launched our Dice game, which was the first provably fair game on our platform. After the positive feedback from the community, the dice game got updated along with the website. Fortune Jack Casino is designed for both; experienced gamblers and the novices alike.
The key to our success is our constant growth and continuous learning, which translates into a fast, engaging, secure and entertaining gaming experience. We listen to the community and try to deliver the products they want while offering innovative ideas and products to our community and listening to their feedback.
This is our work philosophy and culture through which we deliver the best products in the market. Aside from that, Georgia is extremely welcome to all things blockchain and the government actively promote the use of cryptocurrencies.

3.  Has crypto-gambling industry evolved over the past years? What market opportunities, challenges and trends do you see in the future?

Like everything else in the modern world, crypto-gambling is evolving all the time, and I believe that our products contribute to the innovations and changes in the industry. We try to make positive changes by being the Casino that emphasizes fairness.
We spend much time designing and developing provably fair games and advancing the concept, so it becomes more engaging and exciting.
As Martin Luther King would say “I have a dream” that one day all forms of
online gambling will be possible on the blockchain and users won’t need casinos or anyone else to withdraw, deposit and bet/win.
They would bet by making transactions on the blockchain and make withdrawals directly to their wallets, without any middlemen, like most of the online casinos.
Of course, casinos are not only about betting and winning, first of all, but they’re also about entertainment, so in the future, I see fun games based on the technology I’ve mentioned. In short, this is how I see the future of crypto-gambling.

4. Can you enlighten our readers about the concept of a house edge and provably fair?

I will try to define the terms in a human language. House edge is simply the
difference between the Casino’s and the player's winning probability.
To explain how fair protocol works, it’s easier to give an example. Let’s imagine the game with the following rules: Player says a number, then Casino says a number if the sum of these numbers is odd, the player wins, if the sum is even, then Casino wins.
In a game like this, knowing the final outcome will surely mean winning. So, we need a system which will ensure that the Casino won’t be able to cheat and the player will be confident that the number casino chose random and was not calculated depending on the player's number.
The solution is to have the Casino choose the number before the player,
figuratively speaking write it on a paper and fold it (encrypt), then give the
paper to the player. The player, on the other hand, cannot unfold (decrypt) it before he/she says the number.
After the Casino receives the player's number (bet) Casino sends a key to unfold (decrypt) the paper and the player can ensure that the outcome of the game was fair.
In Provably Fair games, you can verify the randomness of each roll and take total control!

4. What types of games are available on Fortune Jack? How does the company maintain the neutrality and fairness of outcome?

On FortuneJack, players can enjoy Slots, Live Casino, table games, provably fair games, Sportsbook, and E-Sport betting. There are more than 2000 games available on our platform. As I’ve mentioned before, we guarantee the fairness of outcome through the provably fair games.
Aside from that, the reputation of our partnering software developers, some of which are Evolution Gaming, Netent, Betsoft, XPG, etc. speaks for itself. Independent casino regulators regularly check the fairness of their games.

5. What types of provably fair games has the company launched? What is the benefit of such an algorithm, and is it edgeless?

Recently we’ve launched a new version of Dice, and we plan to
launch 5 more provably fair games very soon. The concept is to give players all the tools they need to understand their progress and provide them with the ability to choose their strategies.
Provably fair ensures that both parties (Casino and player) are not cheating and are playing fairly.
Most of the provably fair games are not edgeless. Edgeless means that odds of winning for the player and Casino are the same. In this case, casinos are interested in the newbie players who can make lots of mistakes and profit off of them.
I personally am not a fan of edgeless, and I would prefer to think that our players have high intellect and won’t make simple mistakes and I believe marketing strategy should not be concentrated on bringing players with a high error rate, which would happen if all games become edgeless.
This might result in lots of bad reviews, which would be harmful to the image of the Casino.

6.  How do you ensure that the provably fair algorithm is free from bias and cannot be tampered or altered?

The concept of Provably Fair itself ensures that the outcome of the bet cannot be tampered or altered. All due to advanced mathematics behind the SHA-2 hash algorithms that give detailed information about the game to any player. It’s merely impossible to cheat with this system, as I’ve described with my simplified example.

7. What are the advantages of an edgeless house, and is that a trend that you see going forward?

I think there are cases/games where it would be interesting to have an edgeless house, but not in traditional slots. The benefit of an edgeless house is to give players more chances to win, but I don’t think it attracts the right type of players. Contrary to popular belief, in casino luck is not everything and players need to use different tactics and intellectual attributes to succeed.

8. Let’s talk about sports now. The sports betting industry has been gaining a lot of traction, what trends and consumer behavior do you see in comparison to slot or casino-based games?

The latest outbreak of COVID-19 made a significant impact on sports. Most traditional tournaments and matches were cancelled or delayed, but on the plus side, E-Sports are gaining more popularity. In our case we could
separate two segments of players, those who bet on sports and those who bet on casino games. These segments rarely overlap, and in most cases, people who like to bet on sports are not interested in casino-based games.

9.  Fortune Jack is one of the few gambling platforms that accept a lot of cryptocurrencies as deposits. Excluding Bitcoin and Ethereum, what other cryptocurrencies are popular among users and do you see any exciting trend?

We accept 9 cryptocurrencies at the moment. These are Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, ZCash, Tron, Dash and Monero. In our case we could correlate currency to the category, for example; ZCash users like live Casino games more than others, whereas most bets using Monero are made on Dice.
The apparent trend is that as players gain experience, they tend to play Provably Fair games regardless of currency.

10. How is the company fighting the coronavirus pandemic, and according to you, has the outbreak affected the gambling industry and consumer spending?

Of course, it affected the gambling industry as a whole, but not so much on
crypto gambling. As I’ve mentioned before, the coronavirus pandemic mostly affected Sports. The month of March was definitely not the best for our Casino, but if we’ll take a look at April’s statistics, everything seems to return back to normal. In the last couple of weeks, we even experienced sizable growth. Looking at the overall statistics, the pandemic didn’t really affect consumer spending for our segment of the business. As for the staff, we had to switch to remote working, and I think it was quite a success. We are on top of our plans and executing them on time.

11.  As a cryptocurrency-gambling platform, what challenges do you face in terms of issues related to regulation and compliance?

We’ve built this platform on the cryptocurrency because we value our players' privacy, but in most cases, regulations require us to have some information about the players, and it is tough to have a right balance between players' privacy and complying regulations.

12. What significant trends do you see in the cryptocurrency and gambling industry as a whole in the year 2020?

I think cryptocurrencies will become more prevalent in 2020, considering how strong the Bitcoin has withstood the global effects of the pandemic. While every other asset in the world lost its value, Bitcoin is becoming only more reliable. In a couple of days, the halving is due, and this should skyrocket its value even more and popularize blockchain solutions even further. 
The gambling industry has been in our everyday life for centuries. Combining these two gives us one of the best forms of entertainment. I do not expect some radical changes during 2020, but eventually, we’ll be able to create a better future.
The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence by asking the right questions and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions. The views in these articles are purely personal and educational; the material does not constitute any investment, financial or legal advice. Please do your research before investing in any digital assets or tokens, etc.

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