There is something about walking into a casino with cash in your pocket, going over to the cage, exchanging that cash for chips, and heading over to the board that makes live poker players feel home. The mechanics of going to the ATM (or hollowed out poker book if you’re Mike McDermott) then watching the cashier fan out the money feels right. It’s old school. Between all the mobile apps and credit cards, it almost feels as if there is no need for cash, except for at a poker table. To a degree, it even has some similarities to playing at no account casinos online.
With the opening of Resorts World Casino in Las Vegas, live poker could be taking a step away from the old school method of cash, and stepping towards the volatile world of cryptocurrency.
The popularity of cryptocurrency has exploded in recent years, making it one of the most popular investment vehicles in the world. In one 24-hour period nowadays, tens of billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin get traded. To put that in perspective, those numbers on average outweigh the value of the amount of Tesla and Amazon stock that gets traded daily, combined! With its high volatility, people have made and lost millions trading crypto, and they are coming back for more.
Poker and cryptocurrency are certainly not strangers. For years crypto has been the preferred deposit and withdrawal method for many poker sites since is the fastest and most reliable, especially if you are playing in the United States America, where there’s a large pool or players on unregulated online poker sites.
Other than practicality, cryptocurrency seems to be an avenue for poker players to step into the stock market. When Doug Polk’s “retirement” began, he switched from producing poker content to crypto content on YouTube and his followers loved it. Crypto certainly isn’t just for the high rollers, walk into any casino, sit at the $1/2 table and you’ll hear something about Bitcoin within an hour.
How does all of this tie into live poker? Resorts World Las Vegas opened their doors on June 24th, mere weeks after announcing their partnership with Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian co-founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
Tyler Winklevoss was quoted saying, “We are incredibly excited to work with Resorts World Las Vegas, the first casino on the Las Vegas Strip to partner with a crypto platform and explore integrating crypto into their guest experience. Whether it’s the ability for their customers to use cryptocurrency at Resorts World Las Vegas or convert dollars into crypto, being one of the first to support crypto is a great way to meet the needs of the next generation of customers and provide a 21st century experience.”
Despite Mr. Winklevoss’ high hopes, the Nevada Gaming Commission still has not approved cryptocurrency for use in gaming itself. Currently there is only one casino where you can get use out of your crypto, and that is the D Casino & Hotel in downtown Las Vegas. Although you won’t see a Bitcoin-friendly poker table, you can use their onsite Bitcoin exchange to convert your Bitcoin into cash.
While we are still a Commission decision and, in all probability, quite a few years away from cryptocurrency poker tables, it is certainly not out of reach. Until that day, keep grabbing those hollowed out books and shoeboxes, because in the poker world of today, cash is king.