The Gambling Industry is Starting to Seriously Look at NFTs
The gambling industry is starting to pay attention to NFTs - Image courtsey of 123rf

The Gambling Industry is Starting to Seriously Look at NFTs

From NFT slot machines to metaverse casinos - the gambling industry is taking notice in the rise in NFTs.
Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

The NFT landscape is set to intersect with gambling, as Evolution Gaming announces the purchase of four CryptoPunks – which will be used as prizes for their slot machine games. This is the latest merging between the two fields and could be a catalyst for a new wave of NFT interest. 

CryptoPunks Enter the Gambling World

The NFT industry has waxed and waned throughout the year. After witnessing a huge surge in trading volume at the start, they took a sharp fall around June, only to pick up steam once again in August. While trading volume is nowhere near as high as it used to be, the industry appears to be less turbulent than in previous times. 

However, word of Evolution Gaming using CryptoPunks as slot machine prizes could reignite people’s interest. According to their press release, these assets will be used on their “NFT Megaways” game, which is apparently the first slot machine project to utilize NFTs as a prize. Evolution added that:

“The six-reel seven-row NFT Megaways™ slot game creates a unique and exciting crypto pixelated world that will be instantly familiar to anyone who has followed the rise of NFTs. At the heart of the game are CryptoPunks 914, 3008, 4701 and 8143 – four particularly diverse, distinctive and exotic looking characters created by Larva Labs and now owned by Evolution.”

By examining the transaction history of all four NFTs, we learn that Evolution bought them for a total of 86 ETH. All of the Punks were purchased on June 22, when Ethereum was worth $1,888.00, meaning they spent $162,368 in total. The most expensive was CryptoPunk 8143, which sold for 21.50 ETH. 

While CryptoPunks have been a must-have collector’s item in the NFT world, they have recently broken out into the mainstream. In August, Visa bought $20 million worth of them, and an online listing was undertaken by luxury auction house, Sotheby’s

In addition, famed rapper Jay-z owns a Punk and uses it for his Twitter profile picture. With these factors in mind, it is no surprise the NFT aggregate, Nonfungible, lists them as the top-ranking project.

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Todd Haushalter, Chief Product Officier at Evolution, has said:

“Evolution is in a unique position to contribute to the crypto-community by taking the first NFT on Ethereum and featuring it in the world’s first NFT-based slot. One of the open questions in this community is how to display your NFTs and we thought this was a really fun way to do that, where there’s a chance for lots of players to admire them and also to interact with them in a completely new way! We are honored to now be part of the crypto-asset history”.

It is important to note, by using NFTs as prizes, gambling firms are able to diversify games, and have them appeal to a whole new demographic. It allows companies to market their games in more specific and even sophisticated ways, as they are offering something more distinct than mere cash. 

Is Gambling Part of the Future For NFTs?

This could mark the start of a new relationship between these industries. With the gambling industry set to grow to $516 Billion by the end of the year, this could be an extremely effective and lucrative way for the NFT market to continue growing. 

While gambling with digital assets has been around for some time, it is only recently we are seeing NFT integration. One possible avenue for this would be NFT gambling focused on sports card collectibles. The sports betting landscape is huge, as are digital sporting collectibles

The NFT market could certainly capitalize on this and design gambling projects aimed specifically at sports enthusiasts. They could even offer betting rewards in the form of actual tickets, as the Dallas Mavericks are planning to create tokenized passes to their games. 

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Another fascinating avenue is the metaverse landscape. In basic terms, a metaverse is a virtual reality, distinct (but often mirroring) this physical world. The term was coined in 1992, but has only recently started gaining relevance. 

Metaverse NFTs are a growing subcategory of digital collectibles. One company trying to profit off this is GamblingApes, a virtual metaverse casino. Not only are people able to gamble for the chance to win NFTs, but the project even gives NFT owners fractional ownership of the casino itself. 

Projects like these add a whole new dimension to the gambling discussion. While metaverses are still relatively niche, they are sure to get more popular as interactive realities become more immersive. 

Considering how luxury brands are already jumping on the metaverse bandwagon, creating virtual casinos could be a way to spread NFTs globally. It would not be surprising to find NFTs dominating this space in the next few years, and this could even be in large part due to gambling games and opportunities.

Would you personally gamble on NFT games? Let us know in the comments below.

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