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Tim Harrison Speculates the Future of Bitcoin Betting Sites

Is the Online Betting Industry Ready for Blockchain Integration?

Photo by GuerrillaBuzz Crypto PR, unsplash

If we compare the betting industry to the status it had 100 years ago, it would be a challenge to find similarities. It goes to show that the industry is ever-changing. If we trace back 25 years, we can see the advent of online betting. 

And if we trace back a decade, we can pinpoint the inception of the crypto industry. As of now, a massive crossover is going on between the crypto industry and the betting industry. You can find the best Bitcoin betting sites at your fingertips. 

However, the Bitcoin betting industry is different from the Bitcoin casino industry. How do you ask? Well, that’s an answer you must take from Tim Harrison, the betting expert among us today. 

Tim Harrison has been working in the iGaming industry for many years and has all the insights you can ask for. We know punters worldwide, including in the USA, are waiting for blockchain-powered sports betting sites. 

But is the online betting industry ready to jump into the next phase? If not, what are the obstacles in the way? 

Tim promises to answer all your questions after he sheds some light on the legality of sports betting as a whole in the USA. 

For most jurisdictions worldwide, the answer to your question is either yes or no. But when it comes to the USA, it’s not that simple. The fact that the federal government doesn’t regulate gambling creates confusion among new bettors. 

For a very long time, sports betting was criminalized in the country. The law is enforced based on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The goal was to stop college and professional athletes from becoming corrupted by the influence of the betting industry. 

Everything changed in 2018 when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA. It not only legalized sports betting in the country but also opened the doors for state governments to pass new laws. Since then, more than 30 states have legalized sports wagering. 

That brings us to the legality of online sports wagering. Tim’s resources suggest online sports betting is now legal across 18 states. New Jersey, Nevada, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, etc. are just the prominent ones. As it’s up to the state governments, we can’t claim that online betting is legal just because PASPA was dissolved. 

So, what about the betting sites that accept Bitcoin? And what about the inclusion of provably fair betting?

Tim Harrison to Inter Press Service: The Elusive Provably Fair Algorithm

Since the beginning of online gambling, operators have tried to include new paradigms and blend them with other industries to make it a sustainable trait. They’ve done it very well. Among many infusions, the blend of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin remains one of the most impactful. 

As we said near the beginning, the use of Bitcoin or crypto technology is not the same for online casinos and online sportsbooks. To understand why, we have to look into the provably fair algorithm. 

As the name suggests, you can “prove” that the outcomes were fair and random. It’s only possible when dealing with software-driven components that can be executed with smart contracts. Considering the details of the iGaming industry, only RNG casino games are eligible. 

Games that don’t require any human interaction can run on a blockchain. After you’re done playing, you can access the blockchain and see the ledger. It should record the whole hashing process of the smart contract, effectively “proving” that results were randomized. 

Are There Blockchain-Driven Sports Betting Sites?

Photo by Clint Adair, unsplash

Once we understood what the provably fair algorithm is and how it works, the first question we asked Tim Harrison was if there are any blockchain betting sites. And his answer was yes! 

Sx.Bet is one of the very first blockchain-powered online betting sites. The interface looks similar to what we’ve seen on a traditional betting site. In the top section, you get to choose your sports. 

When writing, you could go for:

  1. Football, 
  2. Basketball, 
  3. Soccer, 
  4. Hockey, 
  5. Tennis, 
  6. Baseball, 
  7. MMA, 
  8. and Racing. 

While everything looks and feels normal, it’s not. If you scroll down to the footer section, you’ll notice that the platform is powered by Polygon Technology, a very prominent blockchain network of our time. It shows that all the events, markets, and odds you find on the website are decentralized and smart contract-enabled! 

The sad part is, that’s about it for the provably fair sportsbooks in the world—similar platforms like Sx.Bet includes Degens and Polymarket. You may find a few more operators, but they’re yet to reach the safety mark for Tim to recommend them to you. 

And if you’ve noticed, the sports library on Sx.Bet is somewhat limited when compared to a mainstream sportsbook. According to various statistics, blockchain bookmakers are only responsible for 10% of the total transactions that go into the industry. 

It means the paradigm doesn’t have enough volume to support the massive community of bettors in the USA. 

Inter Press Service: Can Bitcoin Betting Reduce the Fees?

Many may not seem apparent, but online sports betting is expensive! Popular platforms like Betfair charge upwards of 20% in commission once your winnings exceed a certain threshold. While it’s not that big of a deal for recreational bettors, the commission margins are quite high for professionals. 

Apart from high commissions, centralized sports betting platforms suffer from a variety of issues like inaccurate odds projections, declined payments, long waiting periods for a withdrawal, and whatnot. 

According to most betting experts interested in crypto, including Tim, decentralization of online sports betting can solve all of these issues. 

What’s Stopping the Operators?

Gnosis was one of the first projects to launch a betting site on a blockchain. Sadly, it had to shut down soon after simply due to a lack of investors. Users often fail to understand that when you get involved in the crypto industry or any particular crypto project, you’re becoming a shareholder. It means it’s not a short-term deal that you can take and call a day. 

Also, the regulatory bodies supposed to grant these operators licenses are still skeptical of the paradigm. Gnosis was adamant about getting a remote license from the HM Government of Gibraltar but failed. 

If you keep digging, you’ll find numerous stories just like this. And these are the reasons blockchain-powered sports betting platforms are yet to bless the iGaming industry. Until all of these issues are resolved by the industry leaders, we’re stuck with the traditional gambling sites with a side of Bitcoin payment opportunities. 

Safety Tips When Betting on a Blockchain Bookmaker

  • Just because you’re under the safety of cryptographic encryption doesn’t mean the operator doesn’t need a license. It does. So, check for the license. 
  • Verify and validate the credibility of the project before signing up. See what existing users have to say about the platform
  • When depositing and withdrawing with crypto, make sure you’re keeping an eye on the market price. A sudden shift in price can cost you more than you intend. 
  • To discover more information – check this video: