In 2018, the online gambling industry is expected to surpass $50 billion. A study by SuperData Research found that mobile gambling was up 75% year-over-year, and that it now accounted for over 25% of all gambling. And yet, there is a lack of transparency in knowing which sites are safe, honest and trustworthy. With an estimated 1.4 million fake websites being created every month, any successful online gambling site is at risk of being spoofed by hackers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting players.
Though the majority of online gambling sites are reputable, the industry lacks an effective means for a player to verify the reliability of a site. The mark of a "good" gambling site tends to be a byproduct of their reputation. Players are inclined to gravitate towards these sites, not because of third party validation, but rather the reviews they receive. Players are trusting that the recommendations of strangers on a forum or subreddit channel.
Blockchain Brings Trust to Online Gambling Sites
Despite the incredibly hyped blockchain bubble, the underpinnings of the technology hold substantial promise for bringing the element of trust into online gambling. By integrating blockchain technology, all parties benefit from the permanent record of a verifiable, unchangeable transaction ledger. In other words, an online gambling platform using this technology provides transparency at the transaction level.
In 2018, many industries have started to investigate how blockchain technology could solve specific problems. What is clear is that the infrastructure underpinning Bitcoin and other cyrptocurrencies has applications that extend far beyond creating a digital currency. The unalterable open ledger that a blockchain provides, viewable to anyone, has captured the attention of programmers looking to create transparent platforms in every sector, from shipping to charity.
In the online gambling industry, the application of blockchain's technology provides players with assurance of where their money is going and that their results were generated fairly.
Going Deeper with Smart Contracts
The Ethereum blockchain in particular has focused on the concept of a smart contract. This is a digital agreement between parties, whose terms could be enforced by computers and would add the element of transparency to any transaction. With an impartial network insuring the contract is adhered to, any potential obstacles to transparency have been eradicated with blockchain technology.
With an online gambling blockchain in place, there is no obfuscation of the rules, which are clearly legible to all parties, and an instant payout is guaranteed. There are no concerns about a site withholding winnings, because there is no site governing the game. The player's funds go directly into the contract (and, if they win, back out again), without a middleman interfering.
Adding Regional Legislative Requirements to Blockchains for Online Gambling
Several projects have launched initial coin offerings (ICOs) to tackle some of the issues inherent to online gambling. Noteworthy examples include FirstBlood, Monsterbyte and FunFair, significantly more complex than the early SatoshiDice. Many ventures appear to distribute tokens purely to profit from the influx of money into the cryptocurrency space, which seems a natural addition to gambling platforms; after all, casinos have been exchanging cash for tokens (in the form of chips) long before cryptocurrencies were around.
Regulatory compliance, on the other hand, is often difficult to carry out, which is where recently announced, JoyToken, looks to surpass the established ICOs. With regional variations in legislation, this approach lends further legitimacy to the ongline gambling industry by meeting diverse legislative requirements.
The project is launching a casino built on top of the Ethereum blockchain, designed to benefit both game creators and players with enhanced transparency and security. Game developers can integrate with JoyToken's backend, which can then be played using the platform's currency, the JoyToken, to place bets in a smart contract; thereby fostering a reliable ecosystem that benefits all parties.
The protocol is available to developers and can be used to create games compatible with JoyToken's backend. Content creators can avoid the headache of getting the correct licensing, as the process is handled by the JoyToken platform itself; ensuring that online games will be legal and compliant wherever they appear.