The rise of crypto in the last decade has been remarkable. While the market remains incredibly volatile and new coins come and go, the leading players in crypto – Bitcoin, Ethereum, and stablecoins like Tether and USD Coin – aren’t going anywhere.
In the US alone, it’s estimated that 8.3% of the population holds some form of crypto assets, while El Salvador is the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender. Not a day goes by without more news of regulating, legalising, and making crypto more transparent.
One winner in the world of crypto is online casinos. Now, dozens of licensed, regulated crypto casinos offer gamblers the chance to deposit and play with a wide range of crypto coins.
Around a third of all gambling wagers placed online globally in 2022 are with crypto – a stunning rise that has traditional casinos scrambling to incorporate crypto payment solutions into their offerings. But why has crypto gambling taken off in such style? Here are a few reasons.
People didn’t have anything to do with their crypto
This is one of the most straightforward reasons why crypto gambling took off. A vast number of people, particularly those who got in early, found themselves sitting on large portfolios of crypto coins, which had risen markedly in value.
Many people, of course, cashed in some or all of their holdings for a big profit. But most have kept some of their holdings, hoping the value will rise even further. When the first crypto casinos opened their doors to players, here was the opportunity to actually do something with that crypto that was otherwise sitting in their accounts.
The chance to make more money while enjoying the thrill of casino gambling wasn’t easy for many people to resist. And if you have already made vast amounts of money by buying crypto early in its lifecycle, it’s easy to treat your gains as free money.
The philosophy of ‘gambling for free’ is quite marked in the crypto casino space. The money wasn’t earned in the traditional sense, and people are much more relaxed about losing money they didn’t have to work for.
When you factor in that crypto hype was at a high during the coronavirus pandemic and the related lockdowns, it was little wonder that so many people with free time on their hands and an interest in crypto and casino found themselves at home at crypto casinos.
Higher limits and instant withdrawals
Traditional casino companies are pretty conservative regarding accepting large deposits and releasing significant withdrawals. The casinos are terrified of being the victims of scams and are bound by the policies of the companies they use to facilitate payments and withdrawals.
Most online casinos have deposit limits of around $5,000 a day, and to make large withdrawals, players must verify their identities to protect against consumer fraud. Max monthly withdrawals can be as low as $10,000, which is no fun for the big staking gamblers who land big wins.
These verification processes can be long, as can the process of receiving funds through standard fiat transfer systems.
Crypto casinos, the majority at least, have a much more cavalier approach to limits. It’s not uncommon to find no-limit deposits and withdrawals on offer. Generally speaking, crypto accounts are harder to hack and use to spend funds than taking someone’s credit card details, for example.
Withdrawals can also be processed instantly. No third-party payment processors are involved – it’s just a transfer between two crypto wallets.
This is extremely attractive for players, and for the casinos themselves, who save massive amounts of money by not paying commissions to the traditional payment providers.
The whole online casino experience has now changed. It’s more akin to walking into a land-based casino, taking your winnings, and leaving. There is no need to verify your account and wait 3-5 business days for winnings to reach your account.
Bigger bonuses and more valuable promotions
The biggest Bitcoin casinos and other crypto casino casinos operate on different margins than traditional online casinos. They don’t have the considerable expense of payment providers, verification departments, and related costs.
The lifetime value of crypto players is estimated at many times that of regular casino players. And these two facts combined mean crypto casinos offer huge bonuses to new and existing players.
It’s not uncommon to see matched bonuses of 1, 2 or even 5 BTC for new players. This is 100X what regular casinos typically offer, and there is no way other casinos can compete with big sign-up offers.
High-rollers, players casinos earn most of their profit from, are easily attracted to crypto casinos. In addition, regular promotions like cash giveaways, tournaments, and casino races, give the average player a chance to win substantial cash prizes, far above similar promotions at regular casinos.
In addition, the chance to win free crypto, crypto faucets, bonuses for referring players, and much more make crypto casinos appealing to gamblers.
The online generation
Over 70% of crypto holders are under 45, and crypto ownership is highest among males aged 18-29. These people think of themselves as tech-savvy, spend more time online than older generations, and many often have accounts at large social media platforms like Twitch, Twitter, Discord, and Tik Tok.
All these platforms have colossal crypto fanbases, and influencers command millions of followers. The link between crypto and crypto casinos was firmly established in the last few years. Until Twitch recently banned gambling streams in some countries, some of the most popular streams were streamers playing slots on crypto casinos.
Reportedly, the top streamers were being paid up to a million dollars a month to stream themselves at sites like Stake and encourage their viewers to join crypto casinos.
Crypto gambling became cool. People sharing big wins at crypto casinos took off, and others wanted to join in the action. On Twitter, crypto accounts started sharing affiliate links with promises of big bonuses and dreams of big wins, and thousands were taken in.
Many crypto casinos even have their own tokens, which players can earn as they wager and swap for other crypto.
One thing is clear the link between crypto and playing at crypto casinos has been well and truly established and entwined.
The crypto hype has quietened down in the last six months. Bitcoin has lost a third of its value from its all-time high. The broader world economies are suffering from slumping stocks, high inflation, and the threat of recessions hardly makes it a good time to drop a wedge of your paycheck buying crypto or to invest in NFTs.
According to many metrics, Crypto casino traffic is down, but they are going nowhere. New brands are still launching, traditional casinos are starting to take crypto payments, and the player base remains strong.
Now that players have seen the next generation of casinos, it’s clear older casinos will have to fight to compete and stay relevant while their crypto rivals hoover up the next generation of online casino players.