The 2018 Kentucky Derby, one of the most highly anticipated annual horse races in the US, which recorded a staggering $100 million worth of bets from gamblers across the country, has decided to accept bitcoin bids, said US Racing, an international horse racing service.
A Hundred Million Dollar Event
Tim Maxwell, the operations director at US Racing, stated that in last year’s event, a new record volume of $100 million was wagered and the volume for the 2018 Kentucky Derby is expected to increase significantly from the past year’s volume.
To facilitate growing demand from gamblers for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum, US Racing noted that it made a bold decision to welcome bids in cryptocurrencies. Maxwell said that while a few gaming companies and gambling platforms are accepting deposits with cryptocurrencies, in order for the gaming and racing industry to see widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies, the legality and risk management side of the cryptocurrency market will need to be resolved.
“Right now, while punters are limited to a handful of private international gaming companies that will accept deposits with cryptocurrency, players with crypto wallets can use Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin to make a deposit and bet on the Kentucky Derby.
However, both the legality and associated risk management of accepting cryptocurrency needs further clarification before we see widespread adoption in the gaming and racing industry as a whole. The violent swings in bitcoin prices can add another layer of risk management that some public companies believe do not justify the added convenience for providing this deposit method to [their] customers,” Maxwell said.
The Kentucky Derby horse race that is expected to begin accepting wagers from gamblers is said to be the first major gambling event in the world to publicly accept bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin deposits directly in a peer-to-peer manner, through wallets.
The direct deposit method of sending transactions wallet to wallet is noteworthy, as US Racing is not relying upon third party service providers and payments processors to settle cryptocurrency payments and automatically convert them into fiat money like the US dollar. The 2018 Kentucky Derby horse race is directly accepting cryptocurrency payments from gamblers, easing the process for both the gamblers and the event.
Widespread Adoption of Bitcoin
As of current, only a handful of major retailers, merchants, events, and organizations are directly accepting cryptocurrency payments and encourage the usage of digital assets. In Japan, the country’s biggest retailer Bic Camera, largest hotel chain Capsule, and major airline Peach have either already integrated bitcoin or have secured a strategic partnership with local exchanges to accept cryptocurrencies within 2018.
In the west, Europe in particular, businesses and events are yet to properly adopt cryptocurrencies as an alternative means of payment and the adoption of cryptocurrencies by large-scale events such as the Kentucky Derby horse race will allow cryptocurrencies to appeal to the general public.