Following a successful September 1st launch, Wyoming became one of the latest states to offer a regulated sports betting market to those within state lines. Yet, while Wyoming is the least populous state in the country, the state is catching the attention of sportsbook operators, largely thanks to its decision to allow the use of blockchain technology for sports betting transactions.
The federal ban on sports betting was repealed on May 14, 2018, when the United Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Three years later, some form of sports betting is now regulated in now legalized in more than 30 states.
While most states allow for a similar framework, this rapid expansion has seen each jurisdiction attempt to find the perfect formula needed to offer consumers a competitive marketplace while capitalizing off of the taxable revenue.
Interestingly enough it took more than three years for a state to draft legislation that would permit the use of cryptocurrencies.
Wyoming sports betting law allows players to deposit funds into their accounts with a variety of crypto and digital currencies, with Bitcoin remaining the most popular option. Per House bill 133, Wyoming sports betting shops may accept “digital, crypto and virtual currencies” as long as they can be converted into a cash-based currency.
State legislators have decided to embrace the advancement of blockchain technology, and a number of crypto-friendly bills have been approved in hopes of attracting crypto businesses to the state. So common are the crypto conversations in Wyoming’s Senate chambers that Senator Jeff Wasserburger claims there “was very little discussion” when it came to the inclusion of crypto-friendly language in the state’s sports betting bill.
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A player’s ability to deposit with crypto might not seem groundbreaking, but Wyoming has essentially given the operators the green light to begin experimenting with the technology. What starts with improved funding and withdrawal methods could quickly lead to an entirely new experience for bettors all together.
Blockchain & New Tech Will Revolutionize Sports Betting Industry
Sports betting is a multi-billion dollar industry, and estimates from Forbes project that the United States could generate annual revenue in excess of $20 billion alone if all 50 states approved the practice.
Blockchain technology has revolutionized financial transactions, and many suspect that sports betting software would greatly benefit from its adaptation into the industry. Players are always looking for faster and safer ways to transfer money, and sportsbooks could greatly reduce operational costs if they were able to sidestep traditional credit card processing fees.
Lower operational costs either allow the book to operate with better margins, leading to more taxable revenue. These savings could also be extended to the consumer in the form of more competitive wagering lines.
In essence, sportsbooks serve as betting exchanges where the odds move one way or another in reaction to the amount of interest or money coming in on a particular outcome. Most American operators have already partnered with a number of companies to support everything from data acquisition, wagering software, geo-fencing, and casino software solutions. It isn’t far-fetched to anticipate a time where sportsbooks would partner with crypto exchanges to develop platforms allowing them to serve as digital wallets, allowing players to exchange digital currencies and even wager against other players with their holdings.
Hypothetically, a customer could hold a number of coins in his sportsbook wallet and still play the crypto markets, all while having the ability to quickly place a wager with their coin of choice without ever having to leave the platform.
DraftKings recently made the news with their decision to open up an NFT exchange in a partnership with Autograph. The blockchain exchange allows players to participate in specialized drops, buy and sell sports-themed NFTs, and participate in free-to-play competitions in exchange for digital property.
In doing so, DraftKings has turned to blockchain technology to create a unique and exclusive environment for subscribers, and one that gives their marketing team direct access to potential bettors.
Legislation is sure to change as sportsbooks further invest in the exploration of blockchain technology and its potential uses in the sports betting industry. While crypto’s involvement in the industry is limited to player deposits in the country’s smallest state, Wyoming’s legal framework has opened the door for the entire market.
It had to start somewhere. Why not Wyoming?