A landmark decision in May 2018 set gambling on a direct path to widespread legalization.
The Supreme Court’s ruling allowed states to legalize sports betting, removing much of the stigma towards a popular activity. But don’t expect the ruling to spark an outpouring of blockchain gambling innovation.
Gambling is highly regulated for good reason. Online casinos have made digital blackjack more popular than ever, while players can easily find a book to take their sport bets. Billions change hands on betting websites daily. Anti-cheating systems seem to work for the most part, and acceptance of blockchain alternatives lags.
Blockchain’s questionable scalability has also slowed adoption. Poor liquidity, ugly user interfaces, and unclear audience targeting have plagued a number of early blockchain-powered ventures. But optimism still reigns among supporters of blockchain for online gambling.
Here’s what the experts say.
1. Rahul Sood, CEO of Unikrn
“Established industries tend to be slow to adopt new technologies, which is doubly true for established regulators. Regulators in banking, wagering and securities (among other industries) are often change-adverse, conservative clusters making decisions based on technology they best understand rather than the technology best for the industry.
Because of that, you don't see very much influence of blockchain in mainstream gambling yet.”
2. Peter Gal, Co-founder of Bethereum
“Most of the blockchain-based apps are focusing on developing something which is already available in a conventional form, but leveraging blockchain technology to provide this “something” as a safer, more transparent, and cheaper solution (no middleman). So, we see various players promoting their “blockchain-powered Sportsbook”. Some are about football, some are about eSports, some are about gambling games. This is all perfectly valid…but easy to replicate by other blockchain based players.
Other operators are focusing on developing a betting currency, which will then be used by “everybody else” in the betting industry. This is their main focus and while they are interested in their own platform supporting the currency, most of the effort is placed on growing the adoption of their digital token.
We think both directions are too restrictive. Just making something available online more secure and transparent is a great and necessary improvement, but not enough to give a company an edge. That is why we are introducing truly innovative social and gamification features that can make the platform and experience special and unique.”
3. Adriaan Brink, CEO of BETR
“Blockchain technology is certainly a hot topic of discussion in the online gambling space, featuring more and more in industry marketing, press and conferences. Its new solutions and full transparency are raising eyebrows and there is no denying that the advantages of blockchain betting are standing out. A system that provides a way for two parties who have no common account holder to bet with one another without relying on any 3rd party escrow is a game changer. The online gambling industry has always been driven by innovation and technology and blockchain is no exception.”
4. Jason Tauriello, Director of Operations for Wagger
“At present, the state of blockchain is honestly still in its infancy, for the simple reason that the current gambling projects do not have all of the pieces of the puzzle properly put together. Some lack in liquidity, others lack in user base and a few more lack in user experience (UX). At least one or two projects should quickly climb the leaderboard ladder by Q3 of this year.”
5. Will Haswell, Director at CasinoCircle
“Blockchain has struggled to make a significant impact in the casino world so far, really. When the idea was first devised there was a buzz of anticipation and excitement that it could change the game, but it all depends on which market you’re talking about really. There’s so much regulation within the UK and the EU that blockchain doesn’t currently offer enough value to the customer there, whereas in less regulated countries, it’s starting to rattle a few cages. The next two or three years could be when the blockchain industry starts to really come into its own.”
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