Has the coronavirus created the push necessary to create totally cashless casinos? That was the topic of the second panel in CoinGeek Live’s gambling track, as Moderator Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President, Bitcoin Association, lead a discussion on ‘Cashless Casinos: How Bitcoin Technology Can Create a Better & Safer Gaming Experience,’ He was joined by Matthew Dickson, Co-Founder & CEO of BitBoss, Ed Andrewes, CEO of Resorts Digital Gaming, and Stephen Crystal, CEO of SCCG Management.
The innovations BitBoss is creating for gambling, using Bitcoin SV to put operations entirely on chain, and creating easy BSV payment solutions for brick and mortar casinos, drove much of the conversation. Covid-19 had made some of those solutions much more interesting as casinos avoid more physical touch points, but as Dickson explained, he thinks online gambling is driving change even faster:
“Removing cash and anything that is a touchpoint is a major concern to people. I think Covid is a driver of this. At the end of the day, I think this convergence of this. At the end of the day, I do think that this convergence of land based and online is also another major factor that’s going to drive adoption, maybe even in a more significant way than Covid.”
Amdrewes sees lots of benefits in blockchain technology, but he’s not convinced casino regulators will allow any change in the short term. “There’s so many benefits in terms of the transparency,” he said. “I’m a big proponent but sort of further down the line.”
He explained that online gambling operators have hoped for regulators to start moving faster, but it just hasn’t happened:
“We faced the same thing in the online industry, with is this the time with the casinos shut, that more states would start regulating and that would hurry along. Well of course there’s lots of other things they’re dealing with as a byproduct, but I think what does happen, when the dust settles is, everyone’s looking to see how we can make changes for the next pandemic that’s coming along, which we hope will be another 100 years.”
Crystal suggested that people are focused on bigger problems right now, but that online gambling might be more open to change. “In the brick and mortar world, they’re focused on very basic issues: how do they keep the casino clean, how do they create a perception or a reality of safety for the customers, how do they create social distance, how do they close down buffets and repurpose food and beverage. Very basic issues in the casino,” he said. “But what we’re seeing is, a plethora of companies going public in the iGaming space, they’re separating out the new technology, the new casino industry, the online casino industry into separate companies. And they’re moving under different regulations. The ability to innovate, and integrate solutions that companies like BitBoss and others are working on, I think is going to have a much more willing audience, a much more friendly regulatory environment in the iGaming world.”
Andrewes thinks that once customers start using things like BSV in other parts of their life, things will start to open up, and that’s a good thing. “There’s lots of benefits both to the customer and to ourselves as operators,” he said. “This could seriously reduce payment costs.”
Nguyen asked if Dickson saw changes coming soon in the world of BSV that will help create the adoption Crystal and Andrewes want to see, and Dickson thinks a fix to the volatility of digital asset prices will do it. “Rolling out in the very near future is stablecoins on BSV,” he said. “There’s a lot of misunderstood concepts right now with moving cryptocurrency. Once you have a stablecoin that can move extremely inexpensively on a blockchain that scales.”
That’s going to help operators who are losing their profits in the margins. “A 6%, couple of percent on the way in and a couple of percent on the way out of an online platform, vaporizes. It’s almost like charging somebody to go into a supermarket, you wouldn’t think about doing it,” he said. “Online operators are basically having to charge to get money into these accounts. When you move the account balance to a blockchain, as opposed to a back-end server, and the player is holding his own funds, you don’t have that expense. I think it’s a game changer.”
There are also the benefits to service providers, who can benefit from smart contracts in BitBoss platform. “In the online world, you have this whole litany of people that need to get paid,” Dickson said. “There’s a lot of accounting that has to happen. On a blockchain, you can do it in real time.”
That creates a huge savings from using consolidated payment solutions that charge up to 15% to get everyone paid. Doing it on the blockchain, Dickson says everyone makes more money thanks to the scaling capability of Bitcoin SV, and extremely low cost of transaction. And because it’s all recorded on chain, everyone can have a look to ensure they are being paid fairly.
That has people like Crystal very interested. “To economize that process, to create efficiencies, I think operators will press that technology with regulators that want to listen,” he said.
They also spoke about how Bitcoin SV provides a perfect audit trail for regulators to observe. Dickson explained that by simply applying a Know Your Customer (KYC) to the wallet the customer is using, all transactions can be traced back to it, providing a perfect history to show to a regulator if need be. Combine that with upcoming Artificial Intelligence solutions, and you also have a great way of preventing problem gaming, and showing the regulator that you did.
But at the moment, regulators still aren’t being pushed by operators to accept blockchain solutions. Andrewes admits that its something that should happen, but the focus is just simply on other more pressing items right now.
Nguyen then asked if the panelists all agree that Bitcoin SV’s vision of one blockchain for the world makes sense for the gambling industry, considering all of the different companies that can combine on a single experience. There’s so much more money to be had when you work together… and blockchain is going to allow much better products for our players,” Dickson responded. “In the online gaming space, it’s absolutely made for it,” Andrewes agreed. “It makes total sense, and I’m very excited for the industry to be quite honest.”
The last question to Dickson was how BSV will transform the future of gaming. He responded:
“At its heart, it does what we need it to do. When you talk to these two gentlemen, you have to understand how many hundreds of thousands, or millions of players come through their property, and how many financial transactions happen, and how many wagers happen, whether its on BetFred or in a land-based casino in Atlantic City. There’s massive, massive volume, and people don’t quite understand it. And BSV could power all their platforms, very easily today.”
There’s still almost a full day of blockchain innovation to check out at CoinGeek Live. Register for Free to watch everything, or check out our coverage of what happened on Day 1 and Day 2 of the conference.
You can watch the entire CoinGeek Live gambling track in the video below: