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Gambling Tech Giant IGT Patents Way to Fund Bets With Bitcoin

IGT's bitcoin funding patent comes as the gambling tech giant's plans for cashless wagering move forward.

Jan 5, 2021 at 8:47 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:52 a.m. UTC

A top gambling tech company has patented a way for bitcoiners to pay for their next digital roll of the dice with cryptocurrency.

International Game Technology plc, which builds slots and other tech for casinos, has yet to reveal any plans to integrate bitcoin, bitcoin cash and ether into its tech. But its new patent awarded Tuesday covers a means for HODLER-gamblers to pay for their bets with any of the three.

As described in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filings, users of IGT's method would be able to transfer cryptocurrency into their gaming accounts as a means of payment. There, the crypto would convert to fiat currency after payment of a fee.

IGT's filings include drawings of a mobile phone application for placing the deposits as well as a slot machine that would theoretically facilitate the actual bet. One drawing included a live bitcoin wallet address that IGT appears to have set up but never used.

But the patent is not exclusive to slots machines; rather, it also covers the means for moving crypto into the gambler's account. IGT could theoretically roll out a now-patented method for crypto funding across any of its digital gambling platforms. The company has stakes in slots, lotteries and the burgeoning sports-betting scene.

Also Tuesday, IGT announced that Nevada's powerful Gaming Control Board had approved its plans for a cashless wagering system that allows gamblers to fund bets at slot machines and table games with a tap of their phone. That announcement was mum on crypto integration.

IGT did not immediately respond to queries.

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