Since its birth, cryptocurrency has garnered much debate and interest in the gaming space with operators consistently seeking the most efficient methods in integrating it into the payment journey of bettors.

Speaking to Becky Liggero Fontana as part of Coin Geek Conversations, Jeff Ifrah, Founder of Ifrah Law, talks about possible regulations in the US gaming and cryptocurrency industries and NFTs. 

Although crypto payment integration hasn’t happened yet, Ifarh believes that: “Since the beginning of regulated gaming in the United States there has always been this interest. 

“What’s ended up happening is that most of that interest has gone over to the EU and elsewhere, where it is more common to be able to participate in online gaming using crypto currency.”

When it comes to using digital currency for land based casinos and online casinos, regulators are yet to approve it as a form of alternative payments. Ifrah disclosed that over the years he has spoken to such regulators on the issue with them initially being hesitant being unsure of how the market would react to them pushing crypto instead of trying to continue pushing forward payment methods such as Mastercard, VISA and PayPal. “I think they didn’t like the feel of that, I think they felt like it would take aim in the wrong direction. 

Ifrah then saw a change in the argument as regulators stressed the importance for the industry to onboard with banks and credit card companies stating they believed ‘until we can get 100 per cent onboarded and there’s no more failure rates with Mastercard and VISA we’re just not going to pivot over and look at crypto’.

Reading between the lines, Ifrah believes this means that regulators are open to the idea of cryptocurrency in the near future but ‘they just want to get regular, traditional payments sorted first.’ 

Although not prohibited by law, Ifrah advised against gambling operators offering crypto for payment to their customers currently explaining that any supplier who supplies anything to a casino or online casino has to be licenced. 

“When it comes to payment processing there are different requirements in the different states but primarily you either have to get a vendor registration, the offer payment processing services or you have to get what is called supplier licence. 

“That’s because the regulator wants to make sure that anyone that has integrated with online sports betting or online gaming, that it’s a transparent process that they can see who is interacting with our licenced casinos.” 

He added: “If you were to excerpt some sort of payment processing that was not licenced, you would not just be as a processor in trouble with the regulator but you’d be putting the entire licence of the operator at risk as well, for doing business with an unlicensed supplier and that can result in the operator losing their licence.” 

You can watch the full interview here on CoinGeek’s YouTube channel. 

Jeff Ifrah: US regulators relationship with cryptocurrency