The shift to digital was seismic for the casino gaming industry. Compared to their bricks-and-mortar predecessors, online casinos are more accessible, available, and convenient. There are no dress codes, no closing times, and gamers can now play online from anywhere, with anyone in the world. Online gaming also offers opportunities for bonuses like free spins, that you’d never find in a land-based casino.
It’s all these advantages that mount up to an online casino gaming industry set to be worth over $500bn within the next three years. Demographic and economic factors, such as rising adoption by women, and higher income per capita, are also playing their part.
More recently, the advent of blockchain, offering instant settlements and provably fair games, has opened up new possibilities for online gambling games that could stimulate even further growth in the casino markets. One company at the forefront of this opportunity is FunFair, a blockchain-based white-label gaming platform for casino operators.
FunFair provides online casino gaming technology based on the Ethereum blockchain. The company aims to make it as easy and low-cost as possible for anyone to launch their own casino with just a few mouse clicks. At the same time, FunFair is tackling some of the biggest challenges facing online casino operators.
FunFair is essentially a marketplace where online casino operators and game developers come together. The FUN token is used as the currency for the platform. Users pay to play in FUN, and if they win, their winnings are paid out FUN. Operators take revenue in FUN, which increases when they bring in more players. Game developers also earn FUN tokens for putting their games on the FunFair platform. Finally, affiliates can also participate by bringing in players, in exchange for tokens.
Benefits of Blockchain Gaming
In most cases, users of online casinos have no way of knowing whether the advertised odds are genuine, leading to a low level of trust between users and operators. In contrast, all games on FunFair are developed using trustless smart contracts, meaning they are provably fair. Furthermore, funds are held in escrow by smart contracts, so the operator doesn’t take custody of a player’s money until the game is won or lost.
FunFair removes the financial barriers to entry for online casino operators. Whereas traditional platforms charge operators a substantial monthly fee for leasing games, FunFair is low-cost, offering better opportunities for profitability compared to the conventional platforms. Payout in FUN tokens is also instant, meaning operators don’t have to wait weeks or months for revenues.
The development team has also put significant effort into ensuring that the user experience is fast, smooth, and enjoyable. Games are lightweight and run on HTML 5, so they can be played from a web browser without the need to download separate apps. Users only need to create a login once, via the FunPass feature, and they can then switch between different FunFair operators using the same login.
While Ethereum continues to struggle with scalability issues, FunFair has developed an innovative state-channel solution to ensure that games can run smoothly even under peak load. Each gaming session takes place in an off-chain channel, only interacting with Ethereum at the beginning and end of each session to update the blockchain. This feature also significantly reduces Ethereum’s gas fees.
Participating in a blockchain-based gaming platform also allows operators to reach new crypto-savvy audiences. Among the various types of decentralized applications (dApps), gambling games are highly popular. According to the rankings on Dapp Radar, gambling games top other categories on both the number of users and the volume of transactions.
Knowing the Market
The three co-founders of FunFair have a long history in gaming technology. Chairman Jez San OBE created the first chip to power 3D gaming, and founded 3D poker room PKR, along with co-founder Jeremy Longley.
This knowledge of the gaming sector enabled the team to spot the opportunity of blockchain-based gaming early, making FunFair was the first to market with a blockchain casino platform, although others are now following. Given that the growth predictions are already bullish, it will be intriguing to see the long-term impact that blockchain has on the online casino market.