International Game Technology (IGT) has patented a technology that uses cryptocurrencies as a form of payment in casinos. The USPTO granted IGT a patent last January 5 for a system that allows cryptocurrency funds to be transferred to a “gaming establishment account” from a player’s external crypto account. This allows users to transfer cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin from their private wallets to virtual wallets linked to casino accounts with the use of 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 IGT spokesman Phil O’Shaughnessy to the media.
IGT announced on the same day that it received regulatory approval from authorities in Nevada that will allow players to use its Resort Wallet ™ throughout the state. The approval would allow players to conduct cashless deposits on its slot machines. IGT claims that the move would increase liquidity and player convenience while reducing cash handling errors, as well as highlighting that its cashless technology would encourage social distancing.
One of the largest manufacturers of slot machines in the world, IGT’s progress towards cashless payments and wider cryptocurrency acceptance may signal a significant shift in payment methods in the gambling industry in the future. The worldwide market for slot machines is expected to reach over USD4 billion in 2024, according to a 2019 market study of the slot machines industry.