The largest slot machine manufacturer in the world has just received a patent allowing customers to access crypto payments for gambling.
According to data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, International Game Technology, or IGT, receive today a patent for a system that allows gamblers to transfer cryptocurrency from their accounts to a “gaming business account”. The patent application shows payments in Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ether (ETH) as examples for users transferring cryptocurrencies from their private wallets to wallets connected to casino accounts.
“IGT has secured this patent to strengthen its industry-leading patent portfolio in anticipation of a possible future direction in regulated cryptocurrency gaming,” said spokesman Phil O’Shaughnessy.
The patent news comes the same day that IGT announced that it had received regulatory approval in Nevada for players to use their Resort Wallet to make cashless deposits to play the slots. The company referred to the current pandemic when explaining the system, claiming it provided a ‘less contact, more secure’ gaming experience. This move would seemingly eliminate the need for many to use Bitcoin ATMs in casinos as players don’t need to cash in their crypto to play on the slot machines.
Las Vegas casinos were some of the first cryptocurrency users. In 2014, The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino announced they accepted BTC in their stores, but not on the playing floor. Last year, however, demand increased among Winning Poker Network players looking for Bitcoin payouts, with the network reporting it distributed more than $ 160 million monthly.
IGT is based in the United Kingdom, once checked more than 70% of the US slot machine market, but as of 2019 that lead had shrunk to 33.2%, which is still ahead of runners-up Scientific Games and Aristocrat. According to a Global Slot Machines Market Report filed in 2019, the slot machine market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 5.5% over the next four years, to more than $ 4 billion by 2024.
Cointelegraph contacted IGT but had not received a response at the time of publication. This article will be updated if the company responds.