Are NFTs Headed to Gaming?

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Cryptocurrencies are perhaps one of the most notable developments of the past decade or so and they continue to spawn even more innovations. Now, one of the most talked-about aspects of the crypto landscape is non-fungible tokens otherwise known as NFTs.

What Are NFTs?

As it is with several aspects of the crypto industry, NFTs are still not understood by everyone which is totally understandable. They are simply collectible digital assets that hold value as a form of cryptocurrency and as a form of art or culture. The reason why they are such a big deal is that they are a way to create both scarcity and uniqueness to digital art. You can also think of it as a new vessel of distribution and ownership for an already rather experimental medium.

How This Relates to Online Casinos

Well, if history is anything to go by, the casino industry is likely to pick up on this new buzz much like did with other emerging technologies. Today, bettors can leverage some of the latest technologies on their gambling platforms of choice. These include things like digital currencies, live betting, and even other arguably niche technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

Now, if we consider the massive popularity of NFT, it is almost guaranteed that a massive push for its adoption in the online gaming world will be a reality soon. The rise of such activities like eSports also serves to prove the potential of the new technology as a way to take online gambling and gaming to the next level.

In many ways, the NFT blockchain network, online gaming, and the online casino industry seem to be built in such a way that they complement each other. Some companies have already begun investing in that future and they are already projecting some pretty impressive returns from that.

Should You Jump In?

People are already trading NFTs which sort of gives it a start that is much like the launch of digital currencies in the early 2010s. However, the phenomenon is still marred in quite a bit of skepticism just in the same way that digital currencies were in the beginning. All things considered, jumping in at this very moment is mainly a question of how much faith you have in what is arguably the future of gambling, art, and entertainment.

There is still a long way to go and a lot to learn before everything falls to place as projected but there are lots of people who are more than happy to be a part of that journey. Are you one of them?

BitBoss Breaks New Ground for Bitcoin SV Gambling

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Crypto-powered online gambling has achieved yet another great milestone thanks to a recent move by BitBoss, one of the fastest-growing crypto-first online gambling platforms. The operator has made history by launching the very first blackjack game to run entirely on-chain, something that certainly means a lot for the future of the online gambling industry.

Now, the integration of online casino games with blockchain technology has not been very easy to pull off especially due to the current technological limitations. BitBoss has, however, found some workarounds that have made it possible for the company to pull off such a fete.

Players can look forward to the same level of quality when playing on-chain poker with BitBoss due to the impressive optimizations that have been implemented in the game. All of the bets, as well as the results of the games, are transactions on the very popular Bitcoin SV blockchain which means that they offer all the benefits of the technology. These benefits include transparency, accessibility, immutability as well as the utilization of some untapped potential.

According to Alex Shore, the BitBoss. CTO, the company went a step further with the blackjack offering since blackjack is a multi-action game. All of that action is recorded on the blockchain which comes with some other benefits. Perhaps the most notable benefit is that everything is provably fair and therefore there is no need to build off-chain technology and try to scale it later.

New Exchange Services

In addition to the new blackjack offering, BitBoss’ Dragon BSV Casino is also now allowing customers to convert whatever digital currency they may have to Bitcoin SV (BSV). Some of the popular digital currencies that users can trade on the platform include BTC, ETH, XRP, TRX, XMR, LTC, USDT, and USDC. In addition to offering their users unmatched convenience, BitBoss is looking to achieve much more with the exchange services it is now offering.

The most important goal for the company seems to be to show the world just how powerful the Bitcoin SV blockchain is. Moreover, this will serve as a way to elevate the popularity of Bitcoin SV – the digital currency is already making headlines due to its stability especially when compared to the likes of Bitcoin.

The developments that BitBoss unveiled came just a short while after the Bitcoin Association announced that the first Bitcoin SV Technical Standard Committee-commissioned standard is ready for public review. This just marks the beginning of a potentially impressive upward trajectory for BitBoss as it inches close to mainstream adoption.

EOSBet Unveils Bitcoin Betting and Account System

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After making history at the end of last year by becoming the very first blockchain-based casino to receive an official gambling license EOSBet decentralized application recently announced the next step in its journey toward mass adoption of crypto and blockchain. The platform has made its first big step in 2019 by launching a decentralized account system alongside a native bitcoin deposit and betting option.

After receiving its official gambling license, EOSBet became one of top-rated EOS dApps and it will be taking its proactive approach towards innovation into the future with its new and impressive betting option and its neat account system.

The EOS Account System

One of the biggest challenges experienced by users of blockchain technology is the numerous entry barriers that often come in the form of lengthy wallet setup processes among other things. The EOSBet system seeks to solve this problem by developing a system that allows users to deposit funds directly from any source thus eliminating the need for the use of any wallet or third-party software. Furthermore, the system will also cover all the blockchain costs for the players thus allowing them to enjoy the same gaming experience they would find at a tradition centralized casino on the decentralized one.

EOSBet’s account system, just like every other aspect of the platform, is decentralized and completely on-chain which means that all the actions are fully viewable on any block explorer. All the actions also eventually become part of the EOS blockchain and since the system is non-custodial, the players will always be in total control of their funds.

To make the experience even better, the EOSBet team chose to use a simple two-click sign up process that is not only very intuitive but also optimized to work seamlessly across a wide range of devices. With the new system, even people who do not have accounts with ESO can bet securely and get to participate in its very generous player rewards program.

Bitcoin Betting Is Officially Here!

While there have been a number of previous attempts at bitcoin betting with varying degrees of success, EOSBet has beat every other company to becoming the very first on-chain casino to natively accept bitcoin. As if that is not enough, the company plans to implement several other digital currencies in the near future. The betting platform works very well – all a player needs to do is to deposit bitcoin to their accounts, play instantly and then withdraw whenever they may wish to do so.

Both the betting option and the accounts system are slated to take the online gambling industry by storm and this is certainly going to play a huge role in the long-awaited mainstream adoption of digital currencies and blockchain. 2019 might be the year it finally happens.

Worldpay, Paysafe Unite for US Gambling Partnership

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Global payment providers Worldpay, Inc., and Paysafe Group have recently announced a new strategic partnership that is aimed at establishing a standard for the sports betting and online gaming digital payments acceptance and security in the United States. This move is perhaps a well-timed response to the rapid growth of the online and sport betting industry following the May Supreme Court ruling that event that lifted the federal ban on sports betting thus individual states the go-ahead to liberate on their own sports betting regulations.

Paysafe Group is one of the world’s most popular providers of end-to-end payment solutions and its core business is enabling businesses and consumers to connect and perform seamless transactions. The company has well over two decades worth of experience, close to 3,000 employees and up to 12 global locations. Worldpay, Inc, on the other hand, is highly regarded for its capability to power global omni-commerce.

The duo’s partnership will leverage Worldpay’s optimized credit card processing, fast-fund payouts as well the included treasury and payment solutions. Paysafe, on the other hand, will be providing its online gambling and gaming digital payment options which include Paysafecard online cash solution and NETELLER wallet. With this partnership in place, the duo will be able to facilitate seamless transactions while reducing operating costs and allowing universal payment acceptance.

This is exactly what the American sports betting and online gaming industry need as they continue to grow – the American Gaming Association estimates that the sports betting market in the country is worth over $150 billion in gross online and offline gaming revenue. From the looks of it, it could become the largest sports betting market in the world and therefore reliable and convenient payment systems are necessary.

More Choices for the Players

Joel Leonoff, the President and CEO of Paysafe Group believes that the partnership will be able to effectively champion the needs of both the players and the operators by giving them access to a secure, high-configurable and cost-effective payments systems that will deliver an unmatched player experience. The innovative approach the duo will be going with means that the partners will be able to support all transactions. In essence, this means that there will be a ton of payment choices for players to choose from.

In a statement released shortly after the announcement of the partnership, Shane Happach, Worldpay’s executive vice president and head of global enterprise eCommerce pointed out that the combined strengths and capabilities of the two companies would simplify payment options for the gaming operators while “continuing to show our attentiveness to responsible gaming and our mission to protect the integrity of every transaction.”

Online Gaming in New Jersey Gets a Lot Easier

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While New Jersey’s online gambling industry is considered to be one of the best, online gamblers in the state have until recently had to cope with one very frustrating and annoying problem. Participating in online gambling in the state has been a nightmare for residents due to the difficulty of paying with credit cards. The situation was quite unfair especially considering the fact that we live in a world where credit cards are considered to be a standard of payment for a vast range of goods and services.

Having started as an attempt to regulate and prevent online gambling fraud in the state grew to become one of the most significant drawbacks to online gambling in the state as the banks were not allowing players to use their credits to deposits funds into their online casino accounts. As such, many gamblers had to jump through several hoops whenever they wanted to participate in the legal and regulated activity to ensure that their payments were not declined.

“At some point (the federal government) wanted to shut down illegal gambling in the U.S.,” explains Mattias Stetz, COO at Rush Street Interactive/playsugarhouse.com. “Banks became very subjective to what transactions they would or wouldn’t approve. However, since the legal and regulated New Jersey online casinos launched, some banks still haven’t changed their controls to reflect the new legal status.”

Even though these precautions proved to be quite helpful in preventing fraud and illegal gambling activities, it also served a pretty significant stumbling block for legitimate online gambling.

The Solution

New Jersey’s online gaming community has been anticipating a fix for this problem for quite some time now. Well, luckily for them, they now have an easier way to deposit money into their online casino accounts using their credit cards.

This is facilitated by a collaboration between Sugarhouse Online Casino (playsugarhouse.com), an online establishment, and Wyrz, an experienced payment provider. The two have created a system that allows customers to deposit money into their individual online gaming accounts with nearly all the available credit cards.

“Many may not be aware that one of the biggest challenges with online gaming in New Jersey has to do with depositing money to play,” Stetz explained. “When a player tries to fund their account with a conventional debit or credit card payment, the transaction would often fail. Now thanks to the partnership between playsugarhouse.com and Wyrz, that is no longer an issue for those looking to wager and win on the exciting casino games offered on the site.”

This will hopefully give online gamblers the ability to play stress-free since they no longer have to worry about their payments being declined by the bank.

“This should help the New Jersey tax income from gaming as well because all players will be able to play,” Stetz added.

Pennsylvania’s Comprehensive Gambling Expansion Surges On

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has confirmed that the state’s plans for the establishment of mini-casinos, online gambling and a number of other developments are well underway. The members of the board believe that it is going to be a fairly smooth sail from here on out now that a lawsuit that has been challenging the gaming expansion has been dropped.

Even so, everything pertaining to the Keystone State’s comprehensive gambling expansion was already in the right regardless of the setbacks that included the said lawsuit.

“These are very busy times for the Gaming Control Board,” said Doug Harbach, the PGCB spokesperson. “We have six expansion initiatives that we are part of…There’s never been a jurisdiction in the United States that had to get that many types of gaming up and running in a very brief period of time.”

Filed by Penn National, the operator of Pennsylvania’s Hollywood Casino, the lawsuit which was filed earlier this year cited the company’s concerns that the legalization of mini-casinos would jeopardize and cannibalize their casino operation in the state. The lawsuit was, therefore, seeking to have the federal courts pass a ruling that would block the new Category 4 casino provisions since they treated the state’s existing operators unfairly and contained “unconstitutional” language.

According to Harbach, the Penn National lawsuit was one of the most significant setbacks to the Keystone State’s comprehensive gaming expansion. Even though some other issues may arise in the near future, Penn National’s decision to drop to the lawsuit will definitely lighten the load.

“We made a business decision to withdraw our lawsuits against the Category 4 law,” said Penn National spokesperson, Eric Schippers. “While we continue to believe in the merits of our arguments, we have chosen to focus entirely on our development efforts for our two new casinos, rather than pursue what is likely to be a lengthy and costly legal battle.”

“As previously stated, our goal in pursuing our Category 4 licenses is both defensive, in terms of protecting our existing investment at Hollywood Casino from new competition, and offensive in terms of penetrating more deeply into more populous market areas to our south and east, in order to drive incremental value for our shareholders.”

Internet Gambling

While the state is still handling and reviewing mini-casino proposals, the iGaming license process is also in progress. Already, nine of the state’s 13 casinos have paid the discounted $10 million licensing fee for slot machines, poker, and table games.

“Once we get the iGaming up, of course then we’ll start to look at the airport gaming,” Harbach added. “We’ve got the video gaming terminals at the truck stops…Course we began to do some regulation on fantasy sports and have collected taxes on that for a couple months. So, all those things.”

FanDuel to Launch Online Casino and Sports Betting in N.J.

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Renowned fantasy sports provider, FanDuel, has recently announced its plans to launch an online casino alongside a sports betting offering in New Jersey. Sources reveal that the company plans to apply its branding to an online casino through its licensing affiliation with the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City. On the same not, FanDuel will be providing online sports betting under the license of the Meadowlands Racetrack.

The move was rather surprising, especially because both FanDuel and DraftKings, its competitor, have previously shunned all and any association to gambling and now they are both charging forward into the gambling space with sports betting and online casino ventures.

Rebranding in Progress

FanDuel is owned by Paddy Power Betfair which is one of the largest bookmakers in existence – the European bookmaker acquired FanDuel last week, thus finally closing a deal that was struck in May.

“Today is a milestone for the sports industry. We are excited to share that we closed our previously announced merger agreement with Paddy Power Betfair to combine our US businesses, allowing us to move forward with our promise to provide you, our loyal users, an even better experience,” an e-mail FanDuel wrote for to its customers read.

FanDuel will be serving as the face of Paddy Power Betfair’s United States operations that included sports betting and online gambling platforms. One of its most notable operations is the Betfair online casino in New Jersey.

Apparently, Paddy Power Betfair chose FanDuel because of the latter’s brand and database of players which are certainly key selling points and would, in turn, compliment the plenty of sports betting tech that Paddy Power has at its disposal. In a press release, Paddy confirmed that:

“The transaction strengthens the Group’s opportunity to target the prospective US sports betting market through the addition of a strong brand, large existing customer base, and talented team.”

While Paddy will be using the FanDuel brand in the United States, the bookmaker has been trying to rebrand itself – earlier this month, it announced that its US-facing operations, Betfair US, would be changing its name to FanDuel Group. In fact, this rebranding might even affect the Betfair online casino in New Jersey.

GAN and IGT To Offer Assistance

Paddy Power Betfair is definitely a market leader in other jurisdictions but in the United States, the FanDuel group has already secured its own deals with third-party suppliers. One of these suppliers is IGT which has been tasked with providing the platform that will deliver Paddy Power Betfair’s bookmaking services to FanDuel’s sports books.

FanDuel Group further inherited Paddy Power’s partnerships with Golden Nugget and GAN, the two entities that are at present responsible for the Betfair online casino. GAN will be participating in providing logistics to power the FanDuel online casino and sportsbook operations. This will be done in conjunction with both IGT and Paddy Power Betfair.

Three Pa. Casinos Apply for State’s First iGaming License

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Last Friday, after an incredibly long period of pessimistic speculation and uncertainty pertaining to the future of Pennsylvania’s online gambling industry, three casinos finally made the move to forward their applications for the first online gambling license. The casinos, Poconos-based Mt. Air, Parx Casino in Bethlehem and the Stadium Casino that is yet to be built in Philadelphia all hope to offer online gambling services in the near future. This, in essence, sets the ball rolling on the launch of legalized online casino gambling in the Keystone State which in the past couple months seemed to be almost stagnant.

According to Douglas Harbach, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) spokesperson, the three casino operators each filed a petition for the $10 million licenses on Friday. The licenses will allow them to offer interactive online gaming in three categories: non-peer-to-peer interactive table games; peer-to-peer interactive games like poker; and interactive games that simulate slot machines.

The license application period for all three categories of internet casino games remains open till Monday, July 16 for all of the Keystone State’s 13 casinos. When this period finally elapses on Monday, the next stage will come into play – the 13 casinos will have a month from July 16 to apply for any of the individual gaming categories for $4 million each. In case there are any more remaining licenses after August 16, the PGCB will then open the application process to the qualified operators who do not have Pennsylvania Casino licenses.

Things Are Looking Up for Mt. Airy

Even though it is the smallest Category 2 casino in the state, Mt. Airy has some pretty huge ambition and plans to boot. The casino took its first step towards conquering the online space in 2014 when it partnered with the 888. Since then both 888 and Mt. Airy have only been able to serve as promotional partners before things took an unexpected but welcome turn in October 2017 when Pennsylvania legalized interactive gaming last year.

Other than 888, Mt. Airy has also partnered with PokerStars – both partnerships will certainly include portions of the revenue from the skins attached to the licensee’s name. In fact, the partnerships will also go a long way in helping Mt. Airy to tap into other markets outside the Keystone State.

Doors Open for Sports Betting License Applications

Another highlight this week for the Pennsylvania gaming industry was a move by the state regulator to finally begin the process of sports-betting licensing. This was announced PGCB officials who clarified that the entities that could apply for the sports betting licenses included device or equipment manufacturers, sports betting system operators and other related service providers.

Even so, the 13 Pennsylvania casinos are yet to forward applications for the sports betting licenses, just like it was the case with online gambling.  This is probably due to the $10 million upfront cost and the accompanying 36 percent state and local tax rate that the sports wagering operators will have to pay in the state. Obviously, a compromise on either side will have to be reached but until then, we will just have to wait and see.

Ocean Resort Casino Atlantic City Launches Online Casino

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In just two weeks, New Jersey’s gambling options have seen a significant expansion that began with the relaunch and grand openings of Atlantic City’s previously closed casinos. Hard Rock and Ocean Resort went live on June 28 with Hard Rock launching its online casino offering later that day. Ocean Resort has not been left behind and on Tuesday the casino operator officially unveiled its much-anticipated online gaming platform when it removed the “under construction” banner from OceanOnlineCasino.com.

The online casino is currently in the process of a soft launch with the limited gameplay being imposed for the first few days. There are already a number of promotions available on the websites as well but the online casino is yet to begin featuring the “full offering” of its online gaming services.

Big Gain for GAN

For its online casino venture, Ocean Resort Casino partnered with GAN, a B2B internet gaming software developer, and supplier. Ocean Resort will be utilizing GAN’s technology to deliver a converged online and on-property gaming experience to the casino’s guests via its Ocean Premier loyalty program. The offering will allow the guests to trade their reward points earned from on-property gaming for cash when they switch to the online casino. Similarly, the Ocean Resort online casino customers will also be able to redeem the rewards points earned from online gaming at the brick and mortar Atlantic City casino.

“Ocean Resort Casino is a fabulous casino property, unarguably offering the best quality gaming & hotel in Atlantic City, which has now been optimized for success by the new ownership and leadership. We’re privileged to bring this immense property to life online, just as it relaunches in the traditional retail casino market. We’re excited to deliver not just another ‘me too’ Internet casino, but to also bring online for the first time the capabilities unlocked only by GAN’s convergence Patent which may give casino patrons in New Jersey a compelling economic rationale to play online with Ocean Resort Casino rather than established incumbent casino operators already online in this fast-growing market. Ocean Resort Casino is anticipated to be material to GAN’s revenue and earnings in H2 2018,” commented Dermot Smurfit, the CEO of GAN.

What to Expect

At launch, the casino began by offering over 50 slots, a decent number of table games including blackjack and roulette as well as 8 different versions of video poker. The online casino also includes a dedicated section where customers can access online games which can also be played in the land-based casino.

“GAN delivered efficiently and cost-effectively for Ocean Resort Casino and possesses a strategic patent which will give Ocean Resort Casino a competitive advantage with casino guests in Atlantic City who also choose to gamble online. Furthermore, GAN’s proven platform, ‘dual-mode’ Simulated Gaming, as well as real money Internet gaming and track record of client success in the New Jersey market, are among the many reasons we chose GAN to bring Ocean Resort Casino online in 2018,” Ocean Resort Casino CEO, Frank Leone pointed out.

32Red Caught Red-Handed In a Problem Gambler Scandal

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British online casino brand 32Red had been slapped with a £2 million penalty for having failed to uphold the industry’s problem gambling practices. After a meticulous investigation conducted by the controlling body, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), have revealed that there’s still more to be desired when it comes to integrity from the industry’s best-known names.

The UKGC had been forced to pursue this course of action as a result of identifying 22 cases where the casino had failed to conduct basic money laundering checks or advise a customer exhibiting reckless gambling habits against playing, even though they had been reaching out with their qualms about their habits.

The investigation examined a period spanning the time between November 2014 and April 2017. During the said period, there had been multiple indicators that the customer exhibited symptoms of reckless gambling, which should have been looked into earlier.

In fact, 32Red only looked into the proceedings of the customer in January 2017 when the customer managed to win £1 million. The provenance of the customer’s money was also unknown, which indicated serious breaches in 32Red’s anti-money laundering practices.

All the Signs of a Problem Gambler

What’s unnerving on this particular occasion is that the customer may have been aware of his condition. On one occasion, he even shared with 32Red staff that he had wagered too much, which in turn failed to elicit an action from the operator.

When the operator finally began to examine its customer’s finances, it took it nearly five weeks and the produced written proof was disconcerting insofar as it showed volatile finances, but also glaringly indicated that the customer neither has the means to support his gambling habits and that he has far exceeded his net salary of £2,150.

His income in the submitted document was shown as £13,000 and at the same time, the average monthly deposits exceeded £45,000. Of course, some of this amount was won at the casino, but the UKGC has refused to accept the furnished proof as credible.

The UKGC was even tougher on 32Red, arguing that “The source of the customer’s wealth was not known to 32Red because they failed to fulfill their anti-money laundering obligations. We cannot comment on any other proceedings that may be active”.

UKGC Executive Director Richard Watson has been vociferous about the case arguing that what 32Red did was exactly the opposite of what they were supposed to be doing. A failure to help a customer and to check the origin of the money wagered indicated grave lack of accountability within the structure of the operator.

Furthermore, it showed that 32Red would only care to help its customers if they seem to be winning and willing to withdraw. Why was a check not initiated earlier but only after the customer managed to score £1 million is anyone’s guess, but if the answer is obvious, that doesn’t bode well for the operator’s reputation.

Meanwhile, the proceedings from the fine constitute £709,046 divestment of the financial gain, £1.3 million allocated to the National Responsible Gambling Strategy, and £15,000 covering legal expenses.