Bitcoin slot machines? A patent may make them a actuality | Enterprise and Economic system Information

International Game Technology Plc received a patent on Tuesday that allows players to use Bitcoin on slot machines.

International Game Technology Plc, the world’s largest manufacturer of slot machines, may wish to offer cryptocurrency as a payment option for casino games like Megabucks and Wheel of Fortune.

On Tuesday, the company received a patent for transferring cryptocurrency between a player’s gaming account and an external cryptocurrency account. This means that players can use their cell phones to move Bitcoin to their virtual wallets on a slot machine.

“IGT secured this patent to strengthen its industry-leading patent portfolio in anticipation of a possible future direction of regulated gaming with cryptocurrency,” said company spokesman Phil O’Shaughnessy.

Such a move would help casinos cater to younger players. The Covid-19 pandemic has increased interest in Bitcoin, especially among millennials. According to Tokenist’s October poll, around 44% of them plan to buy the currency in the next five years. According to IGT, a third of the guests at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas are between 21 and 40 years old.

The popularity of cryptocurrencies is the recent price rally. Bitcoin more than quadrupled in the last year and recently hit a new high. While Bitcoin is not widely used in transactions, some users have been known to purchase expensive cars, houses, and boats using the cryptocurrency. It is also used on online poker sites and in a number of gambling apps.

Previously, cryptocurrency enthusiasts had to convert their holdings at special crypto ATMs on casino floors to cash before betting. But last year the Nevada Gaming Commission made it easier for casinos to adopt cashless systems and allowed players to transfer money directly from smartphones to slot machines. On Tuesday, IGT announced that it had received government approval to use cashless wallets on slot machines. This allows players to use a Resort Wallet Loyalty Card to deposit money into slot machines.

(Updates with comment from IGT in the third paragraph.)

–With support from Susan Decker and Christopher Palmeri.

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