PokerStars is Working on Bitcoin Integration, Say Rumors

There is some rumors going around saying the world’s largest online poker room is preparing to start accepting Bitcoin as a payment method.

Photo: ViktorPerjesi/Flickr

Photo: ViktorPerjesi/Flickr

PokerStars, the largest online poker room in the world, is preparing to accept Bitcoin, according to report on PocketFives.

Chris Grove from  Online Poker Report told PocketFives that PokerStars has started to amass the vendors that would be necessary to take Bitcoin. “They’re not going to handle taking Bitcoin internally, so they’d need a vendor in the same way you’d need a vendor to process credit card transactions,” Mr Grove said .

As said by the representatives of Gambling Compliance, “PokerStars and major Asian-facing operators are among those pushing for Bitcoin’s acceptance as three prominent gambling hubs hold advanced talks to allow it as a payment method.”

“The big advantage of Bitcoin, some would argue, is that when you look at markets that don’t have a strong payment processing framework, it allows you to enter those markets. That’s the long-term play: it broadens the map of markets they can participate in,” said Grove explaining why a website like PokerStars would be attracted by accepting Bitcoin.

India and China are examples of markets that would be easier to access with Bitcoin as opposed to more conventional financial mechanisms like credit cards, checks and wire transfers.

Poker rooms like Seals with Clubs and Breakout Gaming have tried to capitalize on the popularity of Bitcoin, while such large companies as TigerDirect, Newegg, and Overstock have already started to accept Bitcoin for transactions in the non-poker world.

However, the digital currency has been a bit unstable and has been disordered by scandals like the collapse of Mt. Gox in February, in which the exchange’s half-billion dollars in Bitcoins disappeared.

Recent interest in allowing Bitcoin transactions processing from the Isle of Man and Alderney, together with a late-arriving Malta interest, may stimulate adoption, as long as each jurisdiction’s money laundering concerns can be addressed.

“Risk-layoff services have emerged where an i-gaming operator, or any merchant accepting Bitcoin, can effectively lay off volatility risk on third parties like GoCoin. Even Paypal allows merchants to accept and lay off risk with such services,” said David Gzesh, an industry consultant working toward acceptance by i-gaming regulators since 2013.

“It was clear at last month’s Bitcoins4iGaming Conference in London that once jurisdictions become comfortable with AML and KYC rules for their merchants, Bitcoin acceptance will quickly be added to the mix of options on a country-by-country basis. However, this ROW adoption will not be a magic bullet for US players longing to return to Stars.” he added.

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