Moscow Times published an article about Storm International investing and developing a blockchain technology for land based casinos.
Those who play in the casino and bet on sports are creatures of habit and don’t like change. But technology is moving quick these days and is expected to bring huge changes to the gambling industry. These days, the big bet by businessmen in the know is on blockchain technology – and example of it is a famous Bitcoin virtual currency.
Many people thought that Bitcoin would be a revolutionary technology in monetary world, which actually didn’t happen yet, and it’s actually the underlying blockchain could prove to be the more groundbreaking as it can have an impact across many businesses.
If you’re not familiar with blockchain, here’s how it works. Blockchain is a digital ledger that records all of the transactions that have been executed via blocks and newer blocks are added at the end of older ones thus forming a ledger. As more transactions are executed, more completed blocks are added in a linear fashion. That way everything is recorded in a chronological order. Every time a full block is completed, a new block is created and linked to the previous one, thus making a block-chain. Then all of the parties that are on the network with access to the blockchain can see the records.
In layman terms, think of it as a credit card statement: every time there’s a new transaction, it’s noted, itemized and saved in a timely order. Then if you want to look something up, you simply go back through time. Blockchains work in the similar way.
The important point is that blockchains are shared digitally by all computers that access them. The parties involved can see everything that’s happening.
When most people think about online gaming and Bitcoins, the first thought is that it’s for players that want to be anonymous. But the blockchain technology is looking to deliver completely the opposite, and allow for the one thing that has kept many governments from legalizing online gambling: regulation.
It’s hard to track who is betting what and where, and how much. As a result, governments around the world don’t want to legalize online gambling since many people might be vulnerable to addiction and big losses. But imagine that blockchain technology is able to track every bet and each player is clearly visible to the government or a gaming regulation body. A system of checks and controls could be implemented to make sure players stay out of trouble.
“Blockchain – and common ledger technology – will allow governments to have transparent look into gaming operations to see the numbers,” says Darren Keane, CEO of Storm International, an international land-based casino operator with casino properties in many countries. “We haven’t had this type of technology in our history, but with blockchains, governments will be able to see betting volumes, frequency and so on if their computers are part of the ledger.”
Similar kind of process is already in place in Las Vegas, Nevada where casinos use player cards to track their gamblers to see who is winning and losing. For the online world, the blockchain could be that player card. As things stand right now, a lot of online gambling is not monitored and completely unregulated. There are all sorts of risks involved with that – including a legal-versus-illegal game of cat and mouse where governments and police try to crackdown, track down illegal entities and spend valuable public resources prosecuting criminals. All of this could be avoided if the system was brought to light, legalized and tracked.
Consider the other factor here that’s kept governments away from legalizing online gambling: tax collection. As of now, it’s tough for governments to get into the accounting books of casinos and sportsbooks and determine how much revenue has been made and what amount needs to be taxed. The same goes for players as often times winnings are not declared. However, if blockchain technology was implemented, then all of the sudden there is a clear archive of everyone’s action, including all of the winning and the losing.
Finish reading the full article: Storm International CEO Darren Keane gave a short interview to Moscow Times on blockchain future role in gaming.
Darren Keane Storm International