IGT Innovation to Bring Bitcoin Payments to Las Vegas Casinos

3 min read

International Game Technology Plc has received a patent that could bring cryptocurrency gaming to Las Vegas and other casinos around the world.

IGT is looking to make Bitcoin payments standard in Las Vegas and, over time, other gaming hotspots. (Image: PYMNTS.com)

The US patent is for a system that allows players to “access cryptocurrency from a gaming establishment account.”

IGT spokesman Phil O’Shaughnessy said the move could make crypto payments for slots and other games within regulated markets a reality in the coming years.

IGT to Make Live Crypto Gaming Possible

There are no immediate plans to roll out the new technology, though the US patent will allow IGT to implement its new payment system at a partner casino in Las Vegas.

Sin City casino patrons can currently use special ATMs to convert Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into cash before playing.

In tandem with this, the Nevada Gaming Commission introduced regulations last year that allow players to transfer funds from an online account to a live gaming machine. That should make cashless gaming more common in Las Vegas, and that’s what IGT wants to capitalize on.

As one of the leading slots manufacturers, IGT wants to make it easy for players to send Bitcoin and other crypto currency from their smartphones to a live gaming machine. With COVID-19 creating a contactless culture and millennials falling in step with digital currencies, this could be a winning move.

IGT’s technology may also have wider benefits for live gaming in general. Bitcoin poker sites are a small, but growing part, of the industry since the crypto boom of 2017.

If players can use virtual coins to buy chips in a live game, that would offer high rollers a secure way to exchange large sums of money.

Good News for Bitcoin Bankrolls

The innovation could also help savvy players increase the size of their bankroll with very little effort. Anyone with an eye on Bitcoin and its counterparts will have seen the recent surge of interest from investors.

Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, increased its value by more than $20,000 in 2020. That means anyone with even a small portion of their bankroll in BTC would have made a healthy profit last year.

btc price
The price of Bitcoin has surged in recent months. (Image: Coindesk)

Gains of this magnitude won’t happen forever, though major investment banks such as JP Morgan have predicted that Bitcoin’s value could surpass $100,000.

By getting in early, IGT wants to capitalize on this emerging industry and help land-based casinos move with the times. If that means live poker takes bits from the digital sphere in order to stay relevant, everyone could benefit.

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