You’ve probably heard of the term “The House always wins”. A saying that stemmed from casinos and places of gambling due to the fact that in the long run, they always win. The house always wins because at the end of the day casinos are still businesses and need to keep making a profit in order to keep the lights on.
But the uninformed public has been known to suspect and accuse the casinos of foul play for their losses and the casino’s constant wins.So how exactly do they achieve this if their entire business model is for people to spend money for a chance to win even more money back? With the inclusion of blockchain technology and its ideology of transparency and “don’t trust, verify” motto, does this mean that your chances of winning in a blockchain based gambling game are better than the traditional casino? Does it also mean that Blockchain gambling has a chance of overthrowing Casinos?
Well, I don’t think so and, in this article, I will give you my opinion as to why.
Let’s start with traditional Casinos. Gambling itself has been around forever and the first known European gambling house was from Venice, Italy in 1638. Everything a traditional Casino does is down to a science. Every decision they make is made with a purpose and that purpose to ensure the “House always wins” in one form or another. Let’s explore some of that.
Everything from the layout to the of the casino floor, to the choice of lighting and even the deliberately scented casino game rooms. The design of the casino is made to ensure that you spend as much time as possible in the casino and the atmosphere is carefully managed to help you spend the most amount of money. Such as using the colour red to help boost “arousal” and the effects of dopamine in our brains.
High ceilings and a lot of light help induce “fun” and enjoyment and a general feel of happiness. The free drinks help make gamblers feel like they’re getting something nice out of it all even if they’re losing money and of course the alcohol helps casinos greatly also.
But the biggest thing that ensures the house always wins is the set up of the games themselves. Let’s take Roulette for example. You bet your money on a number of a colour and wherever the ball stops on the roulette wheel determines whether you win or lose. You’re even able to bet on a colour and since there are only 2 colours available (black and red) then you stand a 50-50% chance to win right?
Well no. “Fair odds” is not something that a Casino likes to keep in their vocabulary. With the inclusion of the possible bets of 0 and 00, it drops the 50% chance of winning to 47.4% A whole 2.6% under 50%, giving the casino (the house) the favourable odds.
Even though blockchain is transparent and “trusted”, in a blockchain-based casino, there is still a company looking to make a profit behind it. While the transactions of crypto are public information, what else would be public info? In order to keep making a profit, online casinos will still need to make sure that the odds are in their favour in order for them to keep running. At the end of the day, the odds are just as good (or bad) as they are in a traditional casino.
How blockchain actually helps online gambling.
There are many articles out there about how Blockchain is changing the gambling and gaming industry, and why it’s making everything better, etc etc. But they all pretty much say the same thing and go on talking about how it improves trust between the online casino and customers. I don’t think that’s the case. An online casino will earn trust and reputation as long as they don’t scam their customers and “steal” money as soon as a customer deposits some cash into their online accounts to start gambling with. A new online casino that boasts the use of blockchain, isn’t necessary more trusted and transparent than an already established and trusted “traditional” online casino. Sure, you get to see where your funds are with the use of blockchain, but that won’t stop scammers because once you’ve sent away your money, it’s gone. You can see where it is and where it’s going, but unless the company is a trusted and renowned one, the chances of you getting your money back would be very slim.
However, there are a couple of ways that blockchain helps online gambling and those main points are:
Cryptocurrencies have the rights to brag about being anonymous. While something like Bitcoin is not 100% anonymous, being pseudonymous is usually enough for some folks.
Online gambling is not legal in all places and territories, making deposits and withdrawals both difficult and risky for some customers. Crypto and Blockchain can help with that.
In my opinion, those are the top two ways that crypto and the blockchain benefit online gambling the most. The legality of an online casino is different in every country and nation and so once again, the anonymity and accessibility of a blockchain-based casino can benefit greatly for such situations.
So, in my opinion, while there is certainly plenty of room for blockchain-based casinos, there’s no way that it will “overthrow” traditional gambling anytime soon.
Cover illustration artist webcruiser, DeviantArt