Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are shaking up online gaming rinks. Social media, online news channels, and podcasts have all been buzzing about the present impacts and future possibilities of NFTs on virtual gaming.
This niche type of crypto assets first saw the light in 2012 when coloured coins were issued on Bitcoin before the days of Ethereum. It has since gained significant traction and surpassed the $2bn mark in 2021. The implementation of NFTs in online casinos is progressing at an exciting pace and opening new approaches to online gambling.
What are NFTs?
An NFT is a specific type of crypto asset and is part of the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrencies, which are intangible virtual assets, NFTs relate to physical, tangible items found in the real world.
Real money and cryptocurrencies are fungible because they can be exchanged for one another. NFTs are non-fungible tokens that cannot be exchanged. When you buy an NFT, your ownership is verified with a digital signature.
Firstly, these were mostly associated with art, but recently, NFTs featured in music, video games, virtual trading cards, and iGaming rewards. You can buy and sell NFTs online with cryptocurrencies or other payments.
Online casinos and NFTs
Since seeing the light in the mid-1990s, the online gambling industry has grown into a highly-competitive, multi-billion-dollar market. Online casinos continuously explore and experiment with new ways to attract and keep prospective players.
Owning digital collectibles is not really a new concept in the gaming world. Various games feature challenges and levels where players can earn rewards such as tools, weapons, or specialized armour. Selling these collectibles for real money is also not a novel practice.
Implementing NFTs in gaming circles just puts a fresh spin on these practices. Online casinos, in particular, are turning to NFTs to try and gain a market edge over competitors.
These digital assets are stored on blockchains and you can decide to trade or keep them. Records indicate that people recently invested more than $174m in NFTs, which makes some of them very valuable.
So, it only makes sense that leading online casinos are integrating NFTs in their online gaming experiences. There are different ways in which avid online gamblers can win these digital rewards and properties.
Developers can create NFT-based games and bet on NFT matches – similar to how they bet on esports contests.
Similarly, slot machines can feature low-level and high-level NFT payouts. Online casinos can also link certain promotions to winning NFTs and create platforms where these can be sold or traded.
NFT loyalty rewards
Most online casinos run loyalty or VIP programs. They can easily offer NFTs as loyalty rewards. The significance or values of the rewards can increase according to point systems or high-rolling deposits. An NFT rewards process is an incentive that encourages players to keep on playing.
Online casinos involve players by allowing them to share a certain NFT as the main prize on a specific game or for a specific tournament. In these cases, the online casino shares a specified percentage of the house edge and the value of the NFT with the player.
Naturally, the buyout price of the NFT is determined beforehand. This means that when someone wins the NFT, the owner receives the buyout amount.
Developing NFT online casinos
In a sense, online casinos where players make deposits and withdrawals in cryptocurrencies already exist. There are online enterprises where you can only deal in cryptocurrencies. Bringing in NFTs as a trading means will further extend the digitization of online casinos and embed them more in the metaverse.
Essentially, players would then bet with NFTs and also gather wins as NFTs. This would particularly appeal to younger players and add a different perspective to gambling.
Online casinos can also approach this from another angle and combine NFT and real-money betting. For example, betting on the outcomes of sports or esports events with dollars and NFTs can add more excitement and anticipation as players can win and lose both.
NFTs can also be used as betting tokens in esports and sports betting, giving players a chance to win some significant prizes while wagering on their favourite teams.
Establishing a marketplace for online casino NFTs can give these enterprises a platform where players can buy, sell and trade tokens.
King Billy Casino already led the way in this regard by developing its own NFT collection. The token features five digital items, each with a unique design of the casino’s icon, King Billy. This ‘King Before the King’ collection is a rare digital item and can be obtained with other equally-valued crypto collectibles.
The renowned DraftKings created and launched a College Hoops Tournament NFT Collection via its own marketplace. Those players who collected the NFTs qualified for special rewards drops.
Gambling in the metaverse
The metaverse – a virtual world where people can work, socialize, and conduct business – is the perfect place for digital objects not bound by any real-world restrictions. These objects only exist in virtual space and are used for different purposes, such as buying other virtual items. So, in a way, it works much like NFTs.
Decentraland, a virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain, is one such an example. Here, users can visit Vegas City – a gambling district in much the same style as the Vegas strip. Hosting casinos venues such as Tominoya Casino, Serenity Island and Chateau Satoshi, gamblers can enjoy games such as poker, blackjack, roulette and slots. Using MANA, Ethereum and Dai amongst their chosen payment methods, NFTs can also be used, won and traded.
NFTs can potentially revolutionize the online gambling industry. Awards linked to these tokens are substantial. NFTs also truly open the doors to metaverse casinos and spotlight the value of virtual collectibles. When exploring these online casinos, make sure you go with reputable and registered establishments with sound knowledge about cryptocurrencies and NFTs.