D and Golden Gate Become First Las Vegas Casino Hotels to Accept Bitcoin

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Casino Game Two casino hotels, The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and the Golden Gate Hotel, both based in Las Vegas and belonging to the same company, have become the first commercial casinos in the US to accept Bitcoin, an unregulated system of digital payment.

No Bitcoin on Casino Floors

Interestingly, casino players cannot use Bitcoin to purchase casino chips as the two hotel casinos are accepting the digital currency only in their gift shops, restaurants, and front desks.

The two establishments are cautious because, although Bitcoin is becoming very popular all over the world, governments have not approved it. Although commercial establishments are accepting Bitcoin, they are doing so in a limited manner mainly because they are afraid of government regulation.

Derek Stevens, who co-owns the Golden Gate and the D, says that his company is not permitting customers to purchase casino chips using Bitcoin because they are not sure about how the US government might react. Stevens says that he has discussed the digital currency with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which has clearly stated that it is not sure about how the federal government will consider the use of the virtual currency in regulated, land-based hotel casinos.

What Customers Can Buy with Bitcoin

Right now, customers can purchase products and services with Bitcoin only at the following places inside the two hotel casino:

  • Front desk
  • The gift shop at the D
  • The American Coney Island
  • Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse

Stevens said that the casino hotels had decided to accept Bitcoin not only because of repeated customer requests, but also because they hope to attract customers who are unable to use the currency at other places.

Today, customers of the two hotel casinos use Bitcoin to pay for dinners, rooms, or gifts by just holding their Bitcoin wallets up to iPads installed all over the premises, but they cannot use them to purchase chips. This definitely makes it convenient for casino losers who find themselves short of cash to pay for hotel rooms or dinners.

US Government Likely to Approve Bitcoin

BitPay, which the two casino hotels are using to process Bitcoin payments, is an online processor of Bitcoin payments that allows merchants to accept the digital currency as payment and converts it into US Dollars. The company has processed transactions worth over $100 million in 2013 alone.

Although there are worries that Bitcoin can be used for illegal purposes, the fact that a Bitcoin has been traded than $1000 at popular exchanges shows that it is greatly in demand. The biggest disadvantage of Bitcoin exchanges is that the digital currency has never been approved by government regulators, but even this is now changing for the better. Last fall, several financial regulators spoke in approval of Bitcoin at Capitol Hill hearings.

Fred Ehrsam, the co-founder of Coinbase, a processor of Bitcoin payments, said: “Seven or eight months ago, I was really worried. But now I’m not. There has been a clear progression in the US. The Senate hearings were almost comically positive.”

February 24, 2014: • No Comments

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