With the adoption of blockchain undoubtedly set to continue, the decision to adopt the technology should be treated the same as any other, those are the words of Eminence Holdings CEO, Mark Robson.
Sitting down with CasinoBeats, Robson offers his advice to operators considering blockchain adoption and how the technology can be used to improve the player experience.
CasinoBeats: Will operators who don’t embrace blockchain get left behind, or coexist with those who do?
Mark Robson: Blockchain technology benefits many areas of business, but it can be difficult for larger organisations to adapt. There needs to be robust policies and procedures, as well as a significant headcount, to ensure they’re able to keep up with evolving technology and regulations as blockchain becomes more mainstream. I’m not saying they’ll be left behind, but they may have to run a lot faster to keep up.
Online operators are technology companies, so they are aware of the benefits that accompany innovation. However, blockchain is still in an early phase of adoption. Whilst some aspects such as transactional transparency are easily suited, others – the recording and storing of millions of slot game spins – aren’t.
CB: What is your advice to operators considering adopting blockchain technology?
MR: Businesses have a life cycle that sees them grow and evolve to meet external forces. Our sector spans the technology and entertainment sectors so both need to evolve to remain compatible with emerging technologies, regulatory requirements, and market trends. Adoption of blockchain shouldn’t be treated differently from any other strategic decision.
Like any other innovation, companies should assess the use case and application of blockchain to their business, as well as their ability to implement and adopt the technology. As tends to be the case with new technologies, availability of the necessary skills and resources can be challenging, and this is where finding trusted partners who advise on what blockchain can be used for and how to deliver it is helpful.
CB: How can blockchain technology be used to improve player experiences and trust in the casino?
MR: Traditionally, casino games have been relatively secretive about game performance and pay-outs, sharing this data only with regulators, their internal teams, and an individual’s own game history. The transparency that blockchain brings to the industry will help reinforce the trustworthiness of sites, games, and studios.
Consider the historical results available on a roulette table where you can see what numbers have landed in the last 30 spins. With blockchain technology, you can expand this level of detail to every game. Players naturally have an element of trust wherever they play, but when luck isn’t with you, doubt can creep in. Blockchain is the best solution to reassure players that there’s no such thing as the ‘doom switch’.
CB: To utilise the full potential of blockchain, do game engines need to change?
MR: No, but enhancements can be made to existing game suites to leverage the power of blockchain. Of course, the most complete implementation would be for the technology to be included in the initial design, but this isn’t necessary.
CB: Will ‘true blockchain’ casinos ever become a mass market proposition?
MR: I’m not sure anyone wants to truly admit their business is a mass market proposition. They may secretly want as many customers as possible, but they also yearn to have their own unique selling point, be it in customer care, product selection, or price-point.
Ultimately, it is inevitable blockchain will be increasingly integrated into the operations of every business that has technology elements. It therefore stands to reason that the more reliance on technology an operation has, the more mainstream blockchain will become.