Will Bitcoin Casinos See the Light of Day in China?
Gambling in mainland China is restricted by the government, and it continues to become an unfriendly place for gambling companies. Pres. Xi Jinping recently took steps to combat the global gambling industry, significantly affecting the market, especially that of the casinos in Macau.
Macau, which transformed into the largest gambling hub with its seven-fold larger revenue than that of Las Vegas in 2013, presently suffers from the Chinese government’s stricter policy towards gambling. The record-breaking figure of $45.2 billion is now only a dream gambling companies on the island hope to duplicate.
With tighter regulations enacted in the country, it then becomes a question whether or not the Bitcoin casino market will boom among the Chinese gamblers. Will it ever see the light of day like the way it does in the Western nations?
Bitcoin and China: It’s a love-and-hate relationship
China once showed its might in the Bitcoin economy. Back in 2013, Chinese individuals dominated the race to become the primary downloaders of Bitcoin wallets online. During the same time, the Bitcoin exchange BTC China overtook the now-defunct Mt. Gox in terms of trade volume, and the mining machine production in the country developed.
However, this early success was faced with fear and criticism as the People’s Bank of China warned all financial institutions against the use of the digital currency. This later on negatively affected the price, resulting in a 25-percent decline.
Nevertheless, several Bitcoin exchanges still continue to operate amid the lesser hostile reaction of the
government toward Bitcoin in 2014. Bitcoin mining also progresses to become a bigger industry in the country.
Bitcoin mining is on a roll until today, with a company reported to be making 4,050 BTC per month. This roughly converts to $1.5 million. While some miners operate secretly in China, the Bitcoin casino market in the country is yet to establish itself.
Will Bitcoin gambling find niche in China?
When focusing on Bitcoin gambling in the country, however, certain issues surface, especially during this time. But this does not close the doors on the industry.
It was previously reported that the unregulated or illegal online gambling sector in China has estimated revenue of $21 billion. This reflects the Chinese gamblers’ behavior toward online gambling under the strict rules against the leisure activity. With the use of Bitcoin, this figure may soar higher, but this should not be related with the use of the digital currency as the illegal means to gamble.
Perhaps the gambling industry in Macau can adopt the use of bitcoins and expose its customers to the Bitcoin casino games that are available online. After all, using the cryptocurrency enables for provably fair betting and promotes anonymity among the players. Moreover, the added profits earned from allowing domestic and foreign bettors to bet on Bitcoin games will help push the gambling operators’ expected annual income.
This can become possible only when Macau adopts Bitcoin and if the Chinese government does not impede the growth of the digital currency on its soil.