A Real Day Spent at Bitcoin Online Casinos

This is a response to Shahar Attias' post A Day Spent at Bitcoin Online Casinos (PDF archive here). His article first came to my attention when he posted it in an i-gaming LinkedIn group. All quotes here are from that piece unless otherwise noted.
Shahar Attias What the Hell is Bitcoin
Is this piece truly "unbiased"?
While Shahar is noticeably against Bitcoin gaming, my viewpoint happens to be the opposite. I plan to use it as the primary financial vehicle for my own enterprise, and have a sizable amount of it as a result. Regardless of that I think it has brought a lot of innovation to online gambling. The cryptocurrency gaming wave at least deserves more credit than it was given here.
What the hell is Bitcoin? If you are looking for a full scale, well-articulated and in-depth explanation, you came to the right place.
Let me get some blatant errors in Shahar's work out of the way. It is possible that these errors were jokes, as most of the article is spent making jokes.
Currently, a single BTC costs well over $1,000 and, therefore, most of the transactions are by the fractions of a BTC (i.e. $100 is equal to ~0.3BTC).
When I read that, I immediately scrolled up to the publishing date of the article. October 9, 2014...! I had bought Bitcoin at $280/unit around the beginning of October, and the average cost per coin in my total stake is $375. You can understand my excitement at the price being "well over $1,000" - it's happened before. I hadn't checked the price in a while. How difficult is it to retrieve an accurate Bitcoin price? Let me Google that for you.
Google Bitcoin Price
Around 10:30 PM Eastern on October 14, 2014
On October 9, 2014 when Shahar published his article, the Coinbase chart shows a price of $360.44.
So, how do you buy a BTC? There is a (very) long answer, and a short one. Knowing you, I’ll give you the simpler one: Well, you can’t. Seriously, if you have never done it before and want some BTC right now, you can’t do it. BTC can only be purchased using wire transfers (and these take a few days) or cash in hand (yeah, right).
You can instantly buy Bitcoin on Coinbase with your Visa credit card. This is what I do more often than not. You can also do a direct bank transaction or debit with Coinbase that will, admittedly, take a few days. He's right. Though the price per coin is locked in when you make the order. Beyond that, the Bitcoin wiki has a whole page on buying with your credit card. You can do it with CoinMama or Bitcoin Insanity. And cash in hand isn't as ludicrous as Shahar would lead you to believe. My first ever purchase was back in early 2013, arranged via LocalBitcoins. The web service acts as escrow for the transaction.
... it’s soooo damn complicated to purchase these elusive Bitcoins ...
Without a doubt. So then Shahar goes on to review bit777, CloudBet, Dreamland Casino, BitcoinBet, Birwo, 88BitcoinRoulette, and clumps together SatoshiBet, SatoshiDice, and SatoshiSlot before also grouping CoinRoyale and Bitzino. With that much reviewing, it's not hard to pinpoint some personal tastes. What does Shahar like? Platforms that everyone else uses.
Platform is UltraPlay, so you can expect the regular 70+ titles, plus very polished table games. Me like! Seems like proprietary software, yet integrated with the excellent games of BetSoft ...
Promotional emails that arrive immediately after signup.
Promotions: Errr, none? At least I haven’t seen any, and got no instant email upon registration with their welcome offer.
Lots of games, the more the better.
Although developed in-house, they still have managed to have 4 slot machines (wow!), 4 arcade games (wait, we have had 4 already, no?) and 3 table games + 1 video poker (3+1 = you got it, 4!!).
Lots of bonuses, the more the better.
Finally! 100% bonus on your first deposit, plus a 30% on-going bonus on every follow-up transaction. Not too bad, my friends, not too bad at all.
What doesn't Shahar like? It seems like (1) Bitcoin and (2) innovation. Here's what he wrote after addressing all of the websites with the Satoshi- prefix, emphasis mine:
Not even sure it’s the same group that owns all these brands, but they’re all named after the guy who invented Bitcoins. Much like the true identity of this honored “genius” – who knows? Or more importantly – who cares?
Overall he discounts a lot of the unique features of Bitcoin casinos. In my opinion, it's inventiveness that should excite any i-gaming professional.
SatoshiBet Features
Convenience features - SatoshiBet
Bet on practically anything - BitBet
Bet on practically anything - BitBet
Unscramble pictures to win - Apophenia
Unscramble pictures to win - Apophenia
Multiplayer skill-based board game - Blockchain-reaction
Multiplayer skill-based board game - Blockchain-reaction
Casino MMORPG - Dragon's Tale
Casino MMORPG - Dragon's Tale
Betting on Starcraft - Backcoin (now defunct)
Betting on Starcraft - Backcoin (now defunct)
Strong UI - PrimeDice
Strong UI - PrimeDice
SatoshiDice
Thematically appealing to gamblers' superstitious nature - SatoshiDice
Plinko-style casino game - Lucky Bit
Plinko-style casino game - Lucky Bit
Casino minesweeper - SatoshiBet
Casino minesweeper - SatoshiBet
Who cares about any of that, how many slots do they have? Does the casino look like 95% of licensed online casinos? Do they immediately send a welcome bonus email? These are the important points to ponder. These are the surefire path to casino success.
https://bitzino.com/ My verdict? OM(F)G. They [the games] are so ugly. The only way I could make myself actually look at one of them is after looking at the other one first, and judging it to be the worst looking brand ever – and vice versa. Are they making any money for their operators?
According to this Forbes article, in 2012 Bitzino profited ฿ 10,137.
Google Bitcoin Price Again
Around 11:30 PM Eastern on October 14, 2014
Not making any money there. Never mind that they ushered in the dawn of provably fair gaming. Ugly games! OMFG! So ugly! LOL! Bitzino is about efficiency and their game design reflects that. The design accentuates the game. Not the real life setup or any other visual distraction. Randy Gingeleski Bitzino Roulette   In the physical world, we have a roulette wheel because that's what allows for the game to exist. Wheel or no wheel, the odds are the same. The bets are the same. This is functional design.
[continuing on from his query about making money] No idea, but if so, my wife would really like to find their players and shake their hands, as she could finally speak with people who have lower standards than her.
While Shahar Attias and I may have to agree to disagree on most of the article, there is one thing upon which we can find common ground.
Image source iGaming CRM (Shehar Attias)
Image source iGaming CRM (Shahar Attias)
  • Chris

    Thanks for posting this. How could he make a review of Bitcoin gambling and miss the whole point? We don’t care how much a site looks like a real roulette wheel, or how many differently skinned but identical “slots” it has. We care whether the games are provably fair.

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