The system will allow gamblers to transfer crypto from their accounts into a “gaming establishment account” on a slot machine using their phones
International Game Technology (IGT), the multinational gambling company and the largest manufacturer of slot machines in the world has received the patent for a technology that would allow casino customers to use cryptocurrency for gambling payments. The patented system is expected to enable users to skip the Bitcoin ATMs and directly transfer cryptocurrency into casino gaming accounts, especially for games like Megabucks and Wheel of Fortune.
According to records from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the patent for a system that allows gamblers to transfer crypto from their accounts into a “gaming establishment account” was granted to IGT today.
Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ether (ETH) were used as examples in the system’s patent filing to explain how the technology allows transferring crypto from users’ private wallets to wallets connected to casino accounts on slot machine using their phones.
“IGT secured this patent to bolster its industry-leading patent portfolio in anticipation of any possible future direction in regulated gaming involving cryptocurrency,” said spokesperson Phil O’Shaughnessy. The option is expected to cater to and attract younger customers in the casinos.
The news of IGT obtaining the patent comes on the same day that the gambling technology company announced that it had finally gained regulatory approval to use its Resort Wallet to make cashless deposits for playing the slots in Nevada.
The company explained that such a cashless system of payment was necessary to reduce contact and create a safer gaming experience amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic. The introduction of the new system was also reported to be eliminating the need for customers to use Bitcoin ATMs in casinos as players no longer needed to cash out crypto before playing the gaming machines.
The gambling industry in general and the Las Vegas casinos, in particular, have been one of the earliest adopters of cryptocurrency. The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino began accepting BTC in their shops back in 2014, though cryptocurrency stayed off the gaming floor for a little longer.
Last year, it was reported that demand for Bitcoin pay-outs has surged among the Winning Poker Network Players with over $160 million worth of cryptocurrency being distributed monthly.
IGT, based out of the United Kingdom, once controlled over 70% of the US slot machine market, but as of 2019 that lead had shrunk to 33.2%, but still ahead of runners-up Scientific Games and Aristocrat. The slot machines market is itself expected to grow at roughly 5.5% over the next four years, reaching more than $4 billion by 2024, according to the Global Slot Machines Market Report 2019.