Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of NFTs – which stands for Non-Fungible Tokens – as they’ve exploded in popularity and use. From music to the art world, NFTs have become nearly ubiquitous, with some selling for millions of dollars. Even the casino industry is getting in on the hype. But what exactly are NFTs, and should the gaming biz really dive in? 

Keep reading as we explore the world of NFTs and gaming.

What is an NFT?

While most of us have heard of NFTs, there are probably fewer of us who fully understand what they are. So let’s start from the beginning. An NFT is any digital asset that represents a real-world object such as a song, a piece of art, a cartoon, a poem, etc. Really, anything that can be created can be an NFT. The “non-fungible” part of an NFT means that the digital asset is unique and can’t be replaced with something else. It’s similar to buying a one-of-a-kind trading card. 

NFTs are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency, and they are generally encoded with the same software as many cryptos. They are part of blockchains, which are essentially digital ledgers of transactions which make it virtually impossible to cheat, change, or hack the system. So while a real-world trading card could be stolen with no real ownership chain, a blockchain ensures that a record of the creator and owner of the NFT is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems.

Casinos + NFTs = a match made in digital heaven

We’ve written before about the importance of the casino industry innovating and adapting to stay relevant and attract customers (here’s one example) and NFTs may be another way to do exactly that. While NFTs are still a novel concept, there is no doubt that they’re stimulating real money, with some NFT creators making millions and NFT trading hitting $17.6 billion in 2021. It’s no surprise that NFTs have become red hot with everyone trying to get in on the action. 

For the gaming industry, there are multiple ways to cash in on the craze and attract more digital and tech-savvy customers.

  • Online casinos. Virtual casinos have already been leveraging cryptocurrency as a way to attract customers so it makes sense that they would venture into the NFT world. Since NFTs are unique virtual assets that can be used in various ways, online casinos can offer them to players as game tokens or rewards. They can also be traded on decentralized exchanges for an additional level of excitement for players. NFTs can also be used to gamble online. Imagine if your $20 bet was an NFT, for example! This could be a unique draw for individuals who aren’t usually attracted to more traditional forms of gambling.

  • Rewards for loyal players. Bonuses and rewards are certainly not new concepts for the gaming industry with just about every casino offering some kind of loyalty program. Here at Acres, we’ve even developed a unique bonusing platform that makes it easier for casinos to tailor and adjust their bonuses to players. So what if casinos could use NFTs as rewards for customers who achieve high scores or play for long periods? NFTs could also be a great way to reward a player on a losing streak, to keep them playing and coming back in the future.

  • Offer the house edge. This is a scenario where players are offered an NFT as the main prize on a specific game. In return, they get a small share of the house edge and profit off their assets. Prior to the game beginning, the buyout price of the NFT is determined, and if a player wins the main prize, the owner of the NFT receives the buyout amount. Win-win for the player and the creator! And a great way for casinos to draw in players with the possibility of such a hefty prize.

  • Play in the metaverse. Another digital space that the gaming industry has dipped its toes into is the metaverse. And NFTs and the metaverse go hand-in-hand. The metaverse is a collection of virtual, 3D worlds, where people create personal avatars to explore different platforms. Gamers could purchase slot machines and play at casino tables in this virtual world, all while using revenue-generating NFTs. Other metaverse casinos allow players to create their own casinos and casino games and could potentially use NFTs to make these purchases or get rewarded.

The possibilities are endless

We live in a time where it seems like sci-fi plot lines have sprung to life and are changing both the business and our personal worlds. While much debate still swirls around the sustainability and value of NFTs, the ways in which the casino industry could leverage this technology is limitless. While any new innovation requires an edge of skepticism, it’s also important that the gaming industry stay creative and keep up with evolving technology – like NFTs – to stay relevant and serve the player of the future.

Curious to see how Acres is changing the face of the casino industry? Reach out and schedule a chat.