Have you ever tried your luck at a casino, playing blackjack, roulette, or hitting the slot machines? Casinos were one of the most popular forms of entertainment before the invention of home computers and the Internet. But even now, casinos and gambling in general still has a strong audience who loves to feel the thrill of winning and losing money.
The global gambling market reached a value of nearly $449.3 billion in 2018, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% since 2014. It’s even expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.9% to nearly $565.4 billion by 2022. Casinos aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. People will continue to spend money both online and off. Las Vegas, the most popular gambling destination in the world, reported $11.9 billion in revenue in 2018.
Online gambling is also growing. According to Statista, the online gambling market is expected to double by year 2024 to be valued at more than $94 billion. Blockchain casino gambling is still a small and exotic part of this market, but with the further development of the technology it will become more popular and likely take a bigger percentage of the market share.
What’s the difference between a reputable online casino and a blockchain-based one? All casinos should pay back a significant percentage of their revenue; it’s regulated by special laws. Every automatic gaming machine that is programmable should be programmed to return at least 80% and no more than 99.9% in the form of prizes. Thus, casinos take a small part of revenue and the major part of it gets redistributed among players. Many countries have tight regulations for casinos, but the number of shady gambling websites remains high. So it depends on the casino to determine the payout amount, and if a player isn’t sure that the house is trustworthy, he/she shouldn’t play there. A blockchain casino, though, is another story entirely. Blockchain casinos already have a programmed payout rate, and all wins and losses can be checked on-chain. It’s much more safe and transparent when you can verify transactions and the whole source code of the casino.
Is there any difference to the player aside from transparency? To answer this, we’ll look at the reputable online casino Royal Vegas Online Casino, as well as a few blockchain projects, such as EarnBet, CasinoFair, and 888TRON.
Every casino must follow the regulatory laws and have a special license for operations. Royal Vegas Online Casino is licensed by The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance). It’s registered in Malta. Other casinos can reside in different zones, and thus follow other regulatory frameworks. The license is obligatory, otherwise you can be sure that you’re dealing with a scam casino.
In most casinos, the list of games is pretty much the same - slots, blackjack, poker, roulette. It can be enlarged with the rarer scratch games, baccarat, keno, various types of custom casual games, and of course, live games such as live poker.
What about the payments? Of course, most online casinos accept dollars as the only form of payment. Some of them even accept cryptocurrency, but that doesn’t make them blockchain casinos! Some casinos may offer bonuses for depositing too. Other casinos use similar tricks to attract customers.
Casinos evolve all the time. They moved online to adapt to the changing industry of entertainment new technologies. Now they need to make another progressive step, becoming instead of a money keeper redistributing rewards at its will, a place where people can meet and play directly one with the other, excluding the house. That's what blockchain casinos are all about.
As you can probably guess, blockchain-based casinos offer nearly the same experience on the surface, but they contain a completely different core:
There’s a certain advantage over the traditional methods. The amount of blockchain-based casinos is growing fast because there’s a high demand for them. Here are three of the major gambling platforms
EarnBet - An EOS-based decentralized casino, featuring many games, including dice, blackjack, hilo, crash, and baccarat. Bets can be made with BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and EOS tokens, which must be sent to a certain address in their corresponding network before playing. The casino works on the EOS blockchain and uses its user names to register players. Every time a bet is placed, a player’s seed gets hashed with the bet_id, which results in a unique random number that can be verified on blockchain. This casino also has BET tokens as a motivational program. Players get them for making deposits and betting, and then they can use these tokens to stake and receive 100% of the house’s daily profits for staking.
CasinoFair - A decentralized gambling platform built on Ethereum. This casino has its own FUN tokens and requires paying gas for each bet. They do offer a very long list of games, including classic blackjack, baccarat, roulette, poker, slots, and a set of more casual games. This platform also has its own FUN wallet, which can be used to exchange BTC, ETH, LTC, or XRP to its native tokens.
888TRON - As you might have guessed, this is a blockchain casino running on TRON smart contracts. TRON blockchain provides high scalability and speed, and now it has Samsung native support, meaning that Galaxy S10 users can use TRON dApps natively. 888TRON features more than 2,000 games, including dice, slots, table games, and many other casual games. The amount of daily bets in the games on the platform exceeds $150 million dollars a day, and 888TRON represents more than 40% of the total transaction volume on the TRON network.
All three of them survived the crypto winter of 2018-2019 and are still going strong, making us think that they’re gonna probably going to continue thriving in the upcoming years too.
Despite the obvious advantages of blockchain casinos, the old model obviously won’t die - big online casinos have money and resources for advertising and many players don’t yet understand the difference between the two types. For them it doesn’t really matter how the insides work; if they get the gambling experience that they come for, that’s enough. Reputable casinos, with years of history, will always have their players. But blockchain casinos, similar to 888TRON or EarnBet, will also find their audience! After all, the casino market is expected to double in the upcoming years.
Some of these players will come seeking the advantages offered by blockchain-based games, such as transparency, instant payouts, complete fairness, and the lack of a third party. Some of these players will come simply to have fun. After all, gambling is all about having fun, because that’s what we’re ultimately looking for.
The author is not associated with any of the projects mentioned.