Online gambling is more popular than ever, and it is fueled by crypto casinos and the numerous benefits they offer over traditional online gambling. Based on the latest data, the global online gambling market was valued at $63.53 billion in 2022, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.7% between 2023 and 2030.
New crypto casinos are safe, reputable, and trustworthy, and many of them have learned from the mistakes of their predecessors, one of which is BitVegas. Unfortunately, this Minecraft casino closed its doors under somewhat mysterious circumstances and caused quite a stir in the gambling community.
BitVegas’ History In Minecraft
Minecraft is one of the most popular video games of all time. The game allows players to create massive structures, sky bases, storage rooms, volcanoes, and cities. Recently, Minecraft received an update, allowing players to add more variety to their servers.
One of the reasons for Minecraft’s success is that the players are only limited by their imagination. With millions of active players, Minecraft is an excellent platform for players, creators, and game developers to showcase their creations, one of which was BitVegas, a casino based in Minecraft.
BitVegas and Its Structure
BitVegas launched in February 2013. The casino was one of the first services to integrate Bitcoin into Minecraft and quickly gained the attention of many players due to its innovative and rewarding nature.
BitVegas allowed visitors to earn 0.002 BTC per hour. So even though Bitcoin was between $13 and $1,100 in 2013, BitVegas was still one of the most generous faucets of its time.
The casino itself was massive and featured six floors connected by elevators. The first floor served as a lobby and had a gift shop, a hotel, and a bar where players could buy drinks—you even had a 48% chance to earn double what you spent on the drink after drinking it.
BitVegas featured everything you would expect to find in a casino, such as a lottery, video slots, Hold’em poker, and popular table games like blackjack and roulette. You could even bet on Bacon Races, a funny take on horse racing that featured four pigs racing to the finish line.
The fifth floor was reserved for high rollers. As a result, the games on the fifth floor had higher maximum bets, and only users who had 1 BTC or more in their accounts were granted access to the fifth floor.
The Demise of BitVegas
BitVegas functioned like a proper online casino. On the surface, at least. However, in reality, the situation was much grimmer.
BitVegas operated without a license – every bet and transaction made was purely based on trust, and there was hardly anything stopping the owner of BitVegas from collecting all the money and disappearing without a trace. Which eventually did happen, sort of.
Despite its growing popularity, BitVegas went defunct in March 2014, just a year after its establishment. In the murder scene, the founder of BitVegas was gradually less active on the server and eventually completely disappeared and the casino they created.
While the users could still log in and make deposits, placing bets was impossible. The casino ran out of money since nobody could refill the hot wallet to facilitate transactions between the players and the casino.
Granted, while there is no confirmation that the casino owner stole funds from the players, Murderscene’s departure caused many issues. Some of the outstanding deposits have not been repaid to date.
Additionally, since there was no proper management and structure, BitVegas faced many issues, and, according to a 10-year-old Reddit thread, there were many downsides to BitVegas. For example, one user reported that the staff banned users without good cause.
Moreover, some lost as much as 0.1 BTC on bets that never finished due to the server crashing, while others lost BTC due to various bugs. Of course, the post could’ve been made by a disgruntled player, so it should be taken with a grain of salt.
What We Can Learn from BitVegas That Applies to Gambling in 2023
Even though BitVegas operated for only a year, the casino’s history and its demise serve as a reminder to players and a lesson hard learned that you should always gamble responsibly and play in secure and trustworthy casinos.
A valid and reputable gambling license is an excellent testament to the casino’s credibility. But, at the same time, a gambling license is a way for regulating authorities to protect players from shady casino operators.
To obtain a license, the casino must conform to strict regulations imposed by the license’s regulating authority. Common requirements include background checks, business plans, proof of funds to ensure the casino can pay out winnings.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, and the Curacao Gaming Control Board are some of the most reputable online gambling jurisdictions.
In addition, the casino must pass through various software and compliance checks—it needs to offer fair games and has sufficient measures to protect player data and financial transactions. Furthermore, the casino must also prevent underage gambling and operate only in jurisdictions covered by its licenses.
For that reason, virtually every licensed casino uses a set of KYC checks to verify the identity of each player. As a result, even though some players find them a nuisance, KYC policies allow casinos to prevent fraudulent activities like money laundering, stop underage gambling, and prevent players from playing from locations where the casino cannot operate legally.
Did You Know that Casinos Also Benefit from Having a License?
Casinos seek to obtain a gambling license mainly because they simply operate by the book and protect themselves from legal liabilities. In addition, a license allows casinos to implement payment options and add various games to their platform.
Reputable companies want to work with other respectable brands, so having a license allows online casinos to form partnerships that build trust and improve the brand’s reputation.
Simply put, a license is an easiest and most efficient way for players to verify the casino’s integrity and reputation.
Unfortunately, BitVegas didn’t have anything you would expect from a reliable casino operator—no license, no RNG certificate that verifies the fairness of the casino’s games, no reliable customer support, and no way of knowing if you will ever be able to withdraw your funds from the casino.
BitVegas is a prime example of why players should gamble responsibly and only play in licensed, reputable, probably fair crypto casinos.
On one occasion, a user exploited a vulnerability in BitVegas and stole around 7 BTC, worth about $1,000. While BitVegas reimbursed the stolen money, the situation could’ve been handled differently—BitVegas wasn’t licensed or regulated by any gambling authority, so who was to hold the owner accountable?
Moreover, what if the sum was significantly higher? And what if it was your money in question?
Rather than worrying about what ifs, it is much easier to simply play in a casino that has a reputable license, a collection of provably fair games, and is regulated by a gaming authority that aims to protect the players from any shady activity.
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