March 2, 2016
Today we’re going to be focusing on whether there’s a future for Bitcoin casino, but first let’s take at the overall casino sector.
The casino market as a whole is one of the biggest and most competitive in the iGaming industry, and in the UK there are an average of over 22,000 searches per month for the term ‘online casino’. The image below illustrates the search trends around that same phrase:
Here we can see that the trends around online casino searches are steady, and recovered significantly since the drop between 2008 and 2012. From the data, it’s clear that there is still a demand for online casino, and so operators should be doing everything they can to ensure that their site is suitably optimized in order to attract traffic.
Now, returning our focus to the topic of Bitcoin casino. Unfortunately, there’s not enough search volume to produce a search trends graph for the UK market, which suggests that at present, there isn’t significant interest in Bitcoin casino in the UK.
However, we were able to produce a search trends graph for the US:
Here we can see that there is search interest around bitcoin casino, and increased slowly throughout last year. The spike we see in January 2014 is likely to be as a result of the news that Zynga, producers of games such as Farmville and Draw Something, was testing Bitcoin as a payment method for seven of its online games. This was followed by The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and Golden Gate Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas announcing that they would start accepting Bitcoin.
So, has bitcoin casino really caught on? Well, on the evidence of an average of 390 searches per month in the UK, and 1,600 searches per month in the US, it would be fair to say that no, bitcoin casino hasn’t caught on yet. Whether it’s likely to in the future remains uncertain, but that hasn’t stopped new bitcoin casino’s appearing towards the end of last year, with the launch of ‘Oshi! Bitcoin casino’ among others.
Also, early this year it was announced that Bitcoin will have a new competitor in the form of Decred. Former Bitcoin developers have started the new project in the hope of mounting a challenge to the dominance of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, and their website states “Decred is an open and progressive cryptocurrency with a system of community-based governance integrated into its blockchain…The fusion of technology, community, and governance the Decred way means development is self-funding and remains sustainable”.
Will we see Decred casinos at any point? Only time will tell, but on the evidence Bitcoin has provided us, it seems that we’re a considerable distance away from digital currency casinos becoming the norm.