This past spring, ICOshock put up a piece about the idea that Las Vegas could help cryptocurrency enter the mainstream. The article pointed to several aspects of culture and entertainment in Sin City that have become crypto-friendly, and ultimately painted a strong picture of progress. Vegas isnâ€™t alone, but it may currently be the city that best demonstrates the potential cryptos have to achieve widespread adoption.
One aspect of the Las Vegas culture the article didn’t touch on specifically though was sports betting. Though it doesn’t get as much attention as the casino gaming or the resorts themselves (or the clubs, dancers, shows and the like), sports betting remains a significant draw in a city that is ultimately a Mecca for gambling of all kinds. Numerous Vegas casinos still have sportsbooks, and even outside of physical facilities, Nevada allows online sports betting as well. Once upon a time this made Vegas and Nevada somewhat unique. Most interesting regarding the spread of cryptos to the mainstream though, is that this is no longer the case.
In the past year or so, we’ve seen legal online betting in the U.S. expand to a handful of other states. New Jersey has made the most noteworthy strides, but other states have also legalized betting, and several more are taking steps toward doing so. It’s beginning to become clear that within a decade or so, a majority of the country is going to permit online betting, replicating an activity Americans have long associated with Vegas from coast to coast.
So why is this significant regarding cryptos? To this point, we actually haven’t seen major crypto adoption at Vegas sportsbooks the way we’ve seen it in other aspects of the city’s entertainment scene. Therefore it would be a stretch to suggest that wider sports betting legalization will automatically or directly lead to more mainstream use of cryptos. However, it’s also not a big stretch to suggest that this could be the case. With the crypto emergence in Vegas, and their deepening ties to online casino entertainment beyond the U.S., the potential is certainly there for them to carve out a place in an emerging betting market.
It’s not just a hypothetical based on existing progress and circumstances, either – it might be a natural form of progress for the companies operating online sportsbooks. Even a few years ago, ESPN wrote a piece about the future of sports betting, and included a look at the potential utility of cryptocurrency. The article quoted an executive from a crypto research center as saying that one could imagine a decentralized sportsbook that is provably fair It’s a simple statement, but one that communicates the main reasons that bitcoin, ethereum, and the rest could be such good fits for betting. They’re transparent, secure, and reassuring in a way that online sportsbooks – particularly in brand new markets like most U.S. states will be – just aren’t.
Whether crypto usage in betting starts off in Vegas, at real-world gambling venues, or develops gradually through online and mobile bookies, remains to be seen. However, for the reasons outlined above – emergence in Vegas, the spread of online betting, and the natural fit – it appears that this is an area crypto enthusiasts should be keeping both eyes on.