12 July, 2021
Growing bit by bit
Adam Gros, owner of Gamblineers, discusses the recent trend of blockchain casino expansion and the opportunity it presents for game providers
While crypto and blockchain arent exactly new any more, blockchain casinos are still a newcomer to the gaming industry.
The first blockchain casinos appeared in around 2017, making even the oldest and most experienced ones only a few years old. Their concept was innovative and different to what we were used to in online gambling:
• only a few games
• all games with a built-in provably fair option
• all games in-house, no third party game providers
• emphasis on graphics, design and animations
• a public chat for all players in the casino
• crypto-only casino
• extraordinarily high number of different supported cryptocurrencies
• very little or no traditional bonuses
• different faucet options to give players free money to play with
But their main difference is that they operate using blockchain technology. To explain this distinction, heres how regular online casinos work (simplified):
When you place a bet on a game, your bet gets sent to the game providers server. The server then calculates the multiplier for your bet according to the random number generator result and sends the appropriate response back to your browser.
The same communication in blockchain casinos has one additional step. When you place a bet during a game, your bet gets sent to the casinos server and the server also records your wager in a blockchain. The server then calculates the multiplier for your bet according to the random number generator result and sends the appropriate response back to your browser. The difference is that the contents in theblockchain can be viewed, where the idea for provably fair games originates from.
The actual communication is a bit more complex, especially when third-party game providers are included but for the sake of simplicity, the above description is good enough.
The display of wealth
Almost all online casinos you come across have a sales pitch similar to this one: "X-thousand+ games from Y game providers and a welcome bonus of up to Z dollars." But blockchain casinos cant really brag with any of that because "five games and no welcome bonuses" doesnt paint the best picture.
Instead, blockchain casinos try to appeal to the crypto side of the player by promoting how many currencies they accept, their fast software and the fast transactions which are so popular in the crypto community.
But now, after a few years on the market, this has started to change.
The blockchain (r)evolution
The first - and most notable - change taking over a lot of blockchain casinos is the addition of slots and live games from third-party game providers.
To the question "why?" the response was: "Most crypto casinos (the ones originally featuring typical crypto games) are adding third-party games and, to be honest, it absolutely makes sense. Players nowadays want a big game selection and most of all, slots... just like they could find in regular online casinos."
I agree, it makes sense. Perhaps the correct question should have been: "Why only now?" After all, online casinos have been doing this since their very inception.
The second - but not yet so frequent - change is the limitation of faucet bonuses, giving players free money without expecting anything in return, and instead offering different promotions for players to take part in.
This has brought blockchain casinos somewhat closer to other online casinos in terms of games and promotions, but nevertheless there still appears to be a big gap in the other services they offer. While regular online casinos pride themselves (or try to) on 24/7 professional and fast support for players, and professional support an analytics for affiliates, blockchain casinos still rely on their public player chats and not differentiating players from affiliates by making every player an affiliate and hoping they will bring a few friends in their lifetime. Not to be too critical, regular casinos will have to adopt the vast cryptocurrency support blockchain casinos have, to cater to the ever-growing crypto community.
The ball is in the game providers court
By adding hundreds or thousands of games and placing them side by side with their in-house provably fair games, blockchain casinos have created a unique opportunity for game providers to take the next step.
So far, blockchain casinos have used their blockchain part to give players some insight into the game they are playing and the bets they are making. But blockchain technology has a vast application, so this is a completely new environment just waiting for the first game developers to jump in.
BGaming is a nice example of being a little ahead of time here, having harnessed blockchain technology and offered provably fair games in some regular online casinos this was already done a while ago.
First, there were Bitcoin games
When the first casinos started accepting crypto, you could see the category Bitcoin games quite often, showing a selection of games that could be played with the cryptocurrency. Today, you rarely still see categories like that, a clear sign that crypto has integrated into iGaming and has been effectively embraced by game providers.
Now it seems the same scenario is taking place again but with blockchain games instead. It will be interesting to see where this takes us in the years to come and who will be able to best capitalise on the new technology blockchain offers.