BetCoin Debuts Multiplayer Poker Platform as Malta Considers Recognizing Bitcoin
Posted on: January 11, 2016, 04:47h.
Last updated on: January 11, 2016, 04:52h.
BetCoin is venturing into multiplayer poker. The online Bitcoin casino, backed by an investment firm in Hong Kong, announced this week that its Internet card room will be compatible with any device, due to its HTML5 functionality.
Not to be confused with Betcoin.ag, BetCoin.tm has long offered various Bitcoin gambling options. In addition to its Internet casino and slots parlor, BetCoin gives users around the world the ability to place wagers on athletic events through its sports betting lobby.
Previously confined to video poker, BetCoin users will now be able to participate against other players in tournaments and games.
BetCoin is betting on the resurgence of Bitcoin in 2016. The decentralized digital currency reached an all-time high of $1,145 in November of 2013, but later crashed after the exchange’s anonymity became the money of choice among rogue criminals operating on the Dark Web and black markets.
Bitcoin was most notorious for being used on Silk Road, a former online marketplace where 70 percent of the listed products were drugs. The FBI seized the network in 2013 and Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison.
After its zenith two years ago trading at $1,145 per coin (even attracting the eye of famed investors like billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson), Bitcoin fell to as low as $178 one year ago. However, the open-source digital money has rebounded, now trading at around $450.
In fact, Bitcoin actually beat the strengthening US dollar in 2015, according to Bloomberg. Bitcoin gained nearly 40 percent of its value over the last 12 months on the dollar.
BetCoin executives believe that trend will continue.
“It’s not long before fiat players [those playing with government-issued currencies, such as the Euro or dollar] in legacy casinos around the world see the attraction of Bitcoin,” the company said in a statement. “Our casino, and our multiplayer poker suite in particular, make BetCoin an attractive package for any player converting to Bitcoin.”
To further entice traditional poker players to BetCoin, the platform will run with a zero percent rake on tables for an unspecified period.
Malta Considers Bitcoin
Bitcoin might seem like an ideal currency for online gambling, but to date it simply hasn’t come to fruition. For EU players, that’s partially due to the fact that the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) doesn’t currently recognize Bitcoin as an acceptable form of deposit.
A small island country in the Mediterranean Sea, hundreds of Internet casinos are licensed through Malta. Regulations prevent those companies and operators from accepting currencies other than the Euro.
Some believe Malta will reconsider that mandate in 2016.
Speaking with the CoinTelegraph, NASCasino.com Brand Manager Stephen Turk said, “I think Bitcoin casinos are beginning to get a market share as Bitcoin has been very stable … Bitcoin has shed its Silk Road reputation and serious contenders have started building their operation around Bitcoin payment rails.”
The MGA has threatened online casinos in the past by way of license forfeiture if the networks didn’t abandon the use of Bitcoin.
“This amazing growth of Bitcoin is being incapacitated by some hurdles, which can be amicably solved so that people can continue to benefit from this innovation,” Malta-based business executive Patrick O’Brien wrote last April for the Summit of iGaming. “Particularly, the issues raised by the regulators ought to be scrutinized carefully and major solutions developed.”
Of course, Bitcoins acceptance in the United States is also stymied by the feds, in the form of money-laundering watchdog FinCEN and banking regulators.