At first blush, bitcoin and gambling seem like a pretty comfortable pair and it seems to be flourishing. The concept of bitcoin and in-casino gambling may be a bit further off right now for the mainstream, but it’s coming.
And Ardon Lukasiewicz, brother of Coinsetter CEO Jaron Lukasiewicz, is all-in on bitcoin and brick-and-mortar casinos. “I’d like to pursue Las Vegas as the bitcoin mega-destination,” he says.
Lukasiewicz is the CEO of Bitmarkers, a company that plans to offer frictionless movement for gambling money via the use of bitcoin. Unlike the relatively unregulated online gambling space, real-world casinos are often faced with powerful oversight by regulatory commissions.
And these governing bodies continue to attempt to crack down on money laundering and tax evasion that is conducted through casinos. Someone can conceivably take illegitimate cash money to a casino, circulate it and then walk away with cleansed money.
Casino operators are making it abundantly clear that they don’t want this type of activity occurring on their floors. Earlier this year, it was reported that the Las Vegas Sands Corporation started placing limits on international wire transfers and bank transfers that use aliases.
“There are more international funds moving around and more stress about where the money comes from and where it’s going,” Sands president Michael Leven said back in January.
Lukasiewicz says that he has a number of gamblers already interested in his company’s services, which also provides casino hotel bookings with bitcoin.
“We currently have hundreds of thousands in disclosed gaming interest by our beta member signups. This is with zero marketing,” he told CoinDesk.
Online gambling and doing so in person at a real casino are two very different experiences. Bitmarkers aims to focus on the market segment that requires more personal attention.
“We welcome all players and have more personal relationship with customers than may be normal with online gaming. It isn’t a high volume ‘grind’ such as other bitcoin gaming options,” Lukasiewicz said.
Bitcoin-denominated online gaming has produced a number of gambling startups. SatoshiDice, one of the bitcoin economy’s largest, was sold a few months back for the equivalent of $11.5 million in bitcoins at the time.
Many have concluded that it is online gambling that produces the largest number of transactions on the Bitcoin network, helping it to grow overall. And though online black marketplace spending likely is a significant contributor as well, the closure of Silk Road and subsequent arrests of users by law enforcement has probably diminished that particular facet of bitcoin-based spending activity.
Bitmarkers could help accelerate the pace of adoption for bitcoin with its system, which Lukasiewicz says he has been working 100-hour weeks to create.
“We are building the platform to be easier, cheaper, and more private than a regular player’s current options while also simplifying things to be more welcoming to newcomers,” he said.
What do you think about moving money in bitcoin for real casino gambling? Does Bitmarkers have a tremendous opportunity in the casino gaming market? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: Moyan_Brenn / Flickr
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