Cryptocurrency at the Strip for the first time with opening of Resorts World Las Vegas

Category: Americas

State laws don’t allow for use on casino floors

By Buck Wargo – SiGMA US Correspondent

A new $4.3 billion resort opening next month will be the first Las Vegas Strip property to accept cryptocurrency. However, it will take a change in state laws across the country and federal acceptance before it can ever be used on casino floors.

The announcement by Resorts World Las Vegas is a big step for the Strip corridor and will likely put pressure on other casino properties to do the same.

In its announcement, Resorts World described the deal with Gemini as the first-ever partnership between a Las Vegas casino resort and a cryptocurrency exchange.

Resorts World, which opens on June 24th, said it has partnered with Gemini to explore future opportunities which would allow patrons to use their crypto wallet “to enhance the integrated resort experience.” They said details to pursue and “implement crypto-friendly services at the best-in-class institutional rates across all areas” would be finalized in the coming weeks.

Though cashless gaming is growing in Nevada, particularly since the reopening of casinos following the pandemic forced closure, cryptocurrency as payment on casino floors isn’t allowed under Nevada law. However, there is nothing preventing customers from exchanging it for cash that they could use for any purpose, including for gaming.

This already occurs at downtown casinos

In 2014, a bitcoin ATM was added at the D Las Vegas where customers can deposit cash into their Bitcoin wallets (a smartphone app) and exchange Bitcoin for dollars.

Along with its sister property, the Golden Gate Casino, D Las Vegas also accepts bitcoin for dining, hotel reservations, gift shops, and at the front desk.

Resorts World, the first Strip property to open since 2010, will have 3,500 rooms and many non-gaming amenities from restaurants, retail, nightclubs and dayclubs to a 5,000-seat theatre featuring headline acts like Celine Dion, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan.

Gemini is a platform that allows customers to buy, sell, store, and earn cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether, and DeFi tokens.

It was founded in 2014 by twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss who once sued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for stealing their social networking idea.

Brendan Bussmann, director of public affairs for Global Market Advisors, said he doesn’t see Nevada or other states allowing cryptocurrency anytime soon given federal concerns over money laundering.

In some cases, federal regulators have fined US casinos millions of dollars over the years for a lack of compliance.

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