By some accounts, illegal gambling in the United States amounts to $150 billion a year.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling and legalization of sports gambling it would appear the stage is set for Blockchain Technology, the 21st century cyber based ledger to take centre stage in this space.
Even before the high court ruling, gamblers have already been employing Blockchain and cryptocurrencies to wager on sporting events. In e-sports, for example, people can use digital coins to bet on professional players who compete on sports video games.
The growing adoption of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain combined with the Supreme Court ruling could transform gambling in the United States into a fully legitimate industry.
The technology not only provides transparency and security to transactions but also accuracy. A big problem in gambling is that parties could renege on bets or cancel them all together after the match. With Blockchain, no one can alter a record without consensus from the entire community.
Billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban last year backed Seattle e-sports startup Unikrn’s $30 million plus initial coin offering. Gamblers can use UnikoinGold digital coins, about one billion in circulation, to bet on online games like League of Legends, Defense Against the Ancients (Dota) and CounterStrike.
“Growth in gambling is going to accelerate... Unikrn is better positioned than any other company to leverage that growth not only with their core business , but with blockchain.”
Venture capitalists have already been pouring money into e-sports. From 2013 to 2016, investment in e-sports start-ups more than quadrupled to $1.5 billion from $309 million..
FansUnited, a social sports betting platform in Vancouver, rolled out its own digital currency called FansUnited Token (FAN) based on the Ethereum smart contract platform. The goal is to ensure accuracy of the bets on the 5 major sports leagues (Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League and FIFA) and speed deposits and withdrawals of funds.
“FAN is a token which avoids all of the troublesome payment problems associated with legacy gambling... By connecting FAN value directly to Ethereum, we are betting on the stability and future value of the Ethereum roadmap. Smart contracts are a natural fit for sports gambling, ensuring contracts are honoured exactly as entered — no reneging or cancelling of bets.”