June 2, 2022 3 min read


Nevada Argues Cryptocurrencies in Casinos Are Complex Matter

Cryptocurrencies are an important part of the future of many industries. Whether they come as part of the underlying technology known as blockchain or as a means of carrying out payments, cryptocurrencies will eventually make their way to casino floors. In fact, they already have, albeit not necessarily for the purposes of gambling.

Cryptocurrencies Still a Hot Topic in Las Vegas

Cashless gaming is already there, so the next logical step is digitalized currencies. Still, Jim Barbie, the chief of the Nevada Gaming Control Board Technology Division isn’t entirely sure that cryptocurrencies may be successfully implemented just yet.

Price swings, such as the most recent $60-billion debacle involving TerraUSD and its sister token Luna, ended up destroying a large share of the crypto market, reducing once cryptocurrency billionaire Vitalik Buterin to “just millionaire” instead. Speaking to The Nevada Independent’s Howard Stutz, Barbie shared a popular fear:

“You can actually win the wager and be paid in cryptocurrency, but if the value of the cryptocurrency has deflated, you could potentially lose money on that endeavor.”

Nevada Gaming Control Board Technology Division chief Jim Barbie

Price fluctuations are indeed very common with cryptocurrencies and there is not much of a support line, because wild swings can happen at virtually any time. This begs the question of how cryptocurrencies are implemented? Many casinos out there are already making it possible to use cryptocurrencies, but they are not regulated online, and run their businesses online, and critics would call them grey area at best.

Gaming Control Board chairman Brin Gibson agreed that one of the key appeals of cryptocurrencies is that they are hard to trace back to individuals, although this sheen of anonymity is not necessarily a problem given that regulated sportsbooks have to carry out AML and KYC checks in the first place.

Ben Kieckhefer, who works at the Nevada Gaming Commission, likes to keep a more optimistic look and he believes that legislators can move in a direction that makes it possible for the successful and careful implementation of cryptocurrencies on casino floors. Wyoming already allows payments on sports betting to happen in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, albeit no former sportsbook has made the overture to cryptocurrency betting.

Casinos Already in Casinos – One Way or Another

But cryptocurrencies are indeed making their way into casinos, even if they cannot be immediately used to gamble. Resorts World Las Vegas has a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange on the gaming floor, which makes it easy for individuals to swap out their Bitcoin and take FIAT money. In other words, casinos seem to think that it’s not a bad idea.

Gibson acknowledged in a recent Legislature’s Joint Interim Standing Committee on Revenue hearing that Nevada’s gaming regulators were not explicitly against cryptocurrency. Rather, they were trying to figure out a form of payment that is admittedly complex and comes with many unknowns.

A silver lining here is that cryptocurrencies are already used to gamble at those Internet casinos online. Gibson alluded to them as well and said that those were not located in the US. The idea behind placing a cryptocurrency wager is that you can still keep the currency you have won and as long as you do not convert it immediately into fiat, you will be fine.

However, wrapping legislators’ heads around this thing may take a while. Until then, the good news is that Nevada’s regulators are not completely blind to the issue and are actively exploring their options.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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