Blockchain casinos are arguably the most advanced iteration of the online gambling industry. It opens new possibilities, full transparency, and opportunities to earn more. Blockchain-friendly Thailand is known for its strict anti-gambling laws. It follows the regulation of its fellow Southeast Asian nations. The Thai government imposes a full ban on almost all gambling activities within the country. These include casinos, poker, sports betting, bingo, and others. The only exceptions are horse racing and the state lottery.
Even so, gambling continues to flourish in the country. It has emerged into a booming industry, generating several billion dollars in annual revenues. Gambling operations remain attractive to locals who want to take advantage of web- and land-based opportunities. Apparently, such activities are risky. Local bookmakers are notorious for generating significant wins on the back of players, especially with the absence of regulators.
The Thai Casino Scene
As previously mentioned, Thailand prohibits any form of gambling other than horse racing and the state lottery. Thai residents can not play in local online casinos. However, betting in online casinos with international licenses are hardly regulated.
There are various online casinos for Thai players to choose from. These include Slot V, HappyLuke, Live Casino House, and Parisian 188. Hi-Lo (Thai version of the Sic Bo and Tai-Sai) is the most popular casino game in Thailand. Winning in this no-brainer dice game is pure luck. Players only need to bet on whether the dice’s outcome will be low or high.
Since 2017, Thailand’s Centre for Gambling Studies (CGS) has been examining the gambling habits of Thais. The study reveals that as of October 2019, 30.42 million Thais (57% of Thailand’s population) engaged in gambling. That figure shows an increment of 1.4 million gamblers since the study started.
“Our study found that more than 700,000 people who gambled this year were first-time gamblers, and the youngest of them was only seven years old,” CGS director Nualnoi Trirat added.
Government lottery was the most popular kind of gambling. Illegal underground lotteries and football betting come next. “In terms of money generated by gambling activities, football betting came out top with about 160 billion baht circulating each year, followed by the underground lottery with 153 billion baht, and government lottery with 150 billion baht,” Ms. Nualnoi revealed.
What is Blockchain?
If you have been following digital currency, investing, or banking over the last decade, you may be accustomed to blockchain—the record-keeping technology underlying Bitcoin. This groundbreaking invention is the brainchild of an individual or team known by the alias, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Perhaps the most popular definition of blockchain is as a “distributed, decentralized, public ledger.” The authors of the book titled “Blockchain Revolution,” Don & Alex Tapscott, referred to it as an “an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
But the good news is, this technology is much easier to understand than its definition sounds. At its most basic level, blockchain is merely a chain of blocks, but not in the usual context of those words. The terms “block” and “chain” refer to the digital information (block) recorded in a public database (chain).
The blocks on a blockchain consist of digital bits of information with three parts: 1) transaction details such as time and date, 2) information regarding who is participating in transactions, and 3) information that distinguishes them from other blocks.
To get a basic understanding of the blockchain, imagine a spreadsheet duplicated numerous times throughout a network of computers. Then picture that this network is programmed to update this spreadsheet regularly.
A blockchain is a time-stamped collection of immutable data records managed by a cluster of computers not controlled by one entity. Each data block is secured and bound to each other via cryptographic principles. Since the blockchain is a shared and immutable ledger, everyone can view the information it contains. Therefore, anything on the blockchain is transparent, and anyone involved will be accountable for their actions.
Blockchain in Thailand
Despite being celebrated for ushering in the new wave of digital revolution, regulatory and legal concerns have hindered the widespread adoption of blockchain technology. Governments across the globe are looking for ways to drive the technology growth while maintaining adequate control to protect the domestic economy and customers.
As the blockchain technology evolves at an incredible pace, Thai regulators try to catch up with that global trend. The Office of the Insurance Committee (OIC), the Bank of Thailand (BOT), and the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) oversee blockchain regulation in the country.
The willingness of a government to experiment with blockchain partly influences the advancements in cryptocurrency regulations. Thailand is one of the first Southeast Asian nations to enact crypto legislations, opening its doors to crypto-related businesses and regulating the sale of digital assets. The country’s forward-looking actions and progressive stance towards digital currencies and blockchain present a competitive edge over its fellow Southeast Asian nations.
In 2019, Thailand’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) had reportedly been developing blockchain technology for e-voting. It can be valuable for the community, provincial, or national elections and even business votes.
That support from the government, plus their growing interest in the advantages of digital currency, further legitimizes the technology as well as its viability for the country and the industry in general.
By keeping a supportive and blockchain-friendly attitude, Thailand will continue to draw innovators from all over the world. It will help to promote the blockchain industry’s overall growth. It will be ready for widespread crypto adoption, and reality wherein blockchain plays a fundamental role in the lives of Thai citizens.
Casinos still exist as brick-and-mortar entities, but they have also migrated into the digital realm. That makes it more convenient for players to gamble at any time and anywhere. There are various instances of overzealous application of blockchain technology to new industries. But in the world of gambling, it presents a legitimate use.
Physical casinos carry over their fun sounds, flashing lights, and other tricks into the digital world. Virtually every online casino features over-the-top animations, fun avatars, and the feeling that this is unreal. Researchers from the University of British Columbia discovered that adding “bells and whistles” to gambling games to signal winning can encourage players to take riskier behaviors.
Advantages of Blockchain Casinos
The casino industry is an area through which the blockchain has percolated pretty aggressively. Its integration resulted in several refinements for blockchain casinos.
- Greater Transparency
Rampant cases of scams and fraud caused casino enthusiasts to steer clear of playing online. The good news is that blockchain is capable of providing greater transparency in the casino industry. It records information about the bets, results, and payoffs. Therefore, players can use a casino search algorithm to monitor any suspicious actions.
- Better Accessibility
Several casino buffs anchor their hopes on the blockchain technology. Besides transparency, the technology also offers better accessibility. Online players from nations that oppose online gambling can enter the casino games world free-minded. That is possible through the implementation of cryptocurrencies.
- Lower Fees
The blockchain technology can also help ease fees associated with betting online. As if that was not enough, the technology also makes for cross-border transactions. That is something players from certain territories such as the US will surely appreciate. Online players will no longer need to resort to any dubious payment solutions to wager.
Thanks to the blockchain technology, players can now retain their anonymity while wagering online. They will not be obliged to pass through lengthy verification procedures. Security-conscious players will also appreciate the fact that they do not have to disclose their personal or banking details. That makes payments more shielded from any shady activities.
Examples of Blockchain Casinos
You can find a variety of blockchain casinos. Each of them has a distinctive approach to decentralizing the digital casino industry. BitStarz, YOUnited, and Edgeless all leverage a blockchain to power their casinos. However, each offers a different player experience.
For instance, BitStarz mainly employs the blockchain technology to verify the fairness of their games. Additionally, this casino remains dependent on the house edge to earn money and players losing to stay in business.
Meanwhile, Edgeless uses a more decentralized approach. It utilizes the blockchain to guarantee that every player plays the game fairly. They also tried to eliminate the house advantage, so players have a better winning chance.
However, it is important to note that players are still playing against the house. Also, due to Gambler’s Ruin and imperfect play, neither of the two blockchain casinos do anything to revolutionize player experience. They merely leverage the blockchain to run games already available elsewhere.
YOUnited enables individuals to play against peers while someone guarantees that every game is fair. It employs the blockchain technology to ensure that every flip of every card and every spin of every wheel is fair. It tracks the random number generator (RNG) on their blockchain. YOUnited logs everything, so players can always check if there are any suspicious activities.