Nevada casinos have been on the forefront of the gaming industry for some time, but they have been slow to adopt the usage of Bitcoin, which is currently the most valuable cryptocurrency in the world.
Bitcoin has been on the market for 10 years now, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Department of Taxation have yet to come up with regulations in order to govern the use of cyrptocurrency in Nevada casinos. Those that oppose Bitcoin say that it could be used for money laundering, but there isn’t any legal basis yet for deciding on whether or not it can be used. Bitcoin can be used by high rollers that have money oversees and it can be quickly moved.
The online gaming industry as a whole has accepted it early and cryptocurrency much faster than Las Vegas itself. Bitcoin is popular in online gaming. Those in favor of Bitcoin say that there are a number of federal regulations already in place that can prevent Bitcoin from being used for money laundering at the casino level.
However, some landbased Vegas casinos are beginning to slowly support Bitcoin. D Las Vegas is the first Vegas casino to start accepting Bitcoin for payment in some way. The owner of the casino, Derek Stevens, heard about cyrptocurrency from people in the tech industry that hung out at the casino. So far, the casino has accepted Bitcoin for hotel stays and other expenses at the hotel, but not yet for gambling. However, visitors can trade their Bitcoin in for cash at a Bitcoin ATM, which is available on the casino floor. Many see this as a step in the direction of all Vegas casinos beginning to accept cryptocurrency. So far, the limit on the Bitcoin ATM $5,000 each day, and the owner has no plans to increase the limit or accept other cryptocurrencies as of now.
The move to accept cryptocurrency at D Las Vegas has attracted more international travelers since it’s easy to transfer money. Bitcoin is also known for holding its value and now more players from the tech industry may choose to frequent the casino.
The Golden Gate, owned by the same group as D, also accepts Bitcoin at the front desk. You can’t use Bitcoin to pay for dinner or other hotel amenities like the pool, but you can use it to pay for the room.
The other major players in Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corp., have both said that their casinos are not interested in using cryptocurrency.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board says that it would like to see higher demand from casino operators before it legalizes Bitcoin. Bitcoin would not only help move away from physically currency, it could also attract a younger audience, something that is also important to Vegas casinos.
It still could be a while before more casinos make a move, but there are some other countries that are getting closer to using it internationally. If it takes well on the international market, the U.S. would certainly take notice and Vegas wouldn’t be too far behind.