Gambling With Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

nft written on slots reelThere is always something new popping up in the gambling world. And that’s because just about anything can be considered as fair game when it comes to placing bets. Whether you’re gambling on your favourite football team winning a match or on who the next President of the USA is going to be, there is likely to be a market that caters to everyone. But what about NFTs? Have you ever considered getting involved in betting on these? It seems as though they’re something that many people are talking about today, but what exactly are they?

Furthermore, how exactly do you go about placing a bet on an NFT? And is it worth doing? If this is an area that you aren’t familiar with, then it would be ideal to learn more about it before getting involved in it. That’s what we’re aiming to do here – provide some insight into the world of gambling on NFTs. Join us as we find out what this involves and how it all works.

What Is an NFT?

non fungible tokenThe letters NFT stand for Non-Fungible Token, and it serves as a non-interchangeable unit of data that is stored on a blockchain. That’s the same sort of technology behind today’s digital currencies, but an NFT serves as a sort of digital ledger, which is able to be sold and traded. Different types of NFT data units can be associated with various files, including photos, videos, audio and more. The primary reason why NFTs differ to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies though, is because each token is uniquely identifiable.

It is said that NFT ledgers provide a public certificate of authenticity or a proof of ownership, although uncertainties surrounding the legal rights conveyed by such have been voiced by some. There is no restriction with NFTs on the sharing or copying of the digital files involved in a ledger, and they don’t necessarily convey any kind of copyright, either.

NFTs have actually been utilised as a speculative asset, rather than anything physical. They have also received a lot of criticism from various groups, citing the energy cost and carbon footprint needed to generate them, which comes from validating the blockchain transactions. Additionally, their frequent use in art scams have led to some people finding them untrustworthy to get involved in.

Should you choose to buy an NFT, then you essentially own a digital file. Let’s say that Bansky creates a work of art completely in digital format. He puts it up for auction as an NFT and someone gets the winning bid at £10,000. That piece of digital artwork won’t physically be theirs. Instead, it will be a winning bid on a digital file of the artwork. Essentially, the user doesn’t have anything physical to hold onto in their hands, and this is where the similarities with cryptocurrencies have been noted.

What exactly is the appeal about NFTs in the first place? Well, unlike cryptocurrencies, they cannot be traded or exchanged at equivalency. Cryptocurrencies are identical to one another and, therefore, they can be used as something for commercial transactions, whereas NFTs cannot. But what is so good about having something that cannot be used for spending and that you can’t physically touch?

Well, when you consider that people and companies around the world have been purchasing pictures of famous artworks – the Mona Lisa or The Scream, for example – for decades, things fall a little more into place. Those famous artworks have been found on posters, mugs, aprons, tea towels etc. While you could simply take a screenshot of something being sold as an NFT, it’s not the same as actually possessing it. When you own an NFT, you have proof on the blockchain that it actually belongs to you. It’s all yours.

How Does Gambling on NFTs Work?

nft concept

Despite the fact that it may seem quite undoable and strange to bet on something that you don’t physically own, NFT gambling is actually an activity to engage in. And as it happens, it provides a wide variety of options for players to experience. There are even online sites that support NFTs from different platforms. Take a look at sites like CryptoKitties or 0xUniverse, for example.

NFT gambling may provide an unpredictable nature and setup, but the variety of tokens that can be used in this activity makes everything much more exciting. And due to the fact that NFTs are maintained on the blockchain, which serves as the public and decentralised ledger, the consumer is the one who has the “right to transfer”, which allows them to own their virtual assets.

As things stand for the moment, NFT gambling remains in its infancy. Yet it is believed that it will soon take over as a popular alternative for those who enjoy things like cryptocurrency betting and online gaming.

As it happens, there is a new NFT on the Ethereum blockchain, and this is hoping that it will upend the online gambling market. It was towards the end of 2021 that the Slotie NFT from Eli Software became available, and this was marked as potentially being the first NFT to generate real money from gambling. It has been labelled as something that is intended to be a long-term investment. Sloties cost 0.08 Ethereum for the first 2,500 pre-sale mints and 0.16 Ethereum for 7,000 public sale mints, equating to roughly $5.7 million (£4.2 million).

It is said that these NFTs will provide real-world benefits at 150 worldwide casinos, as well as “Exclusive Holders Rewards”. The first of those rewards is a Slotie-themed game that is available at crypto casinos, and it pays out a 12% commission to each partner. A total of 80% of that payment is given to Slotie holders and Slotie NFT holders will acquire a 20% rakeback at any participating casino. They get 20% of the casino’s take back as their own benefit. The key to this is a token that is able to be transferred over to NFT owners on the blockchain.

What Can Be Won When Betting on NFTs?

nft illustration exampleLet’s say that you decide to play online with NFTs. If you use standard ERC721 tokens (the standard token on the Ethereum blockchain), then you stand the chance of winning the token itself if you win against another player or a dealer. But tokens relating to NFT gambling are not always the same thing, so you have the chance to win such prizes as cryptocurrencies or potentially some other collectibles.

The biggest risk that comes with betting on tokens is that you will lose your money should you bet on an incorrect token or dealer’s hand. At the same time, there is always the risk of the platform you are playing at being hacked, and this is why it is ideal to locate and stick with a reliable dealer which will hold your tokens safely and securely.

And while they stand out as being quite high risks, NFT gambling is actually quite the exciting and fulfilling way to engage in gambling. Considering how new it is, it has captured the attention of many online platforms already. Various sites have therefore started providing NFT gambling as a result of this heightened attention on the activity.

One of the most recent to do so is the Entain brand, which recently announced the launch of its Ennovate innovation hub. As part of that, the company stated that it is investing £100 million in the innovation to be able to deliver new and exciting experiences for its customers. This, it said, would be utilised to investigate emerging areas, as well as to give it the opportunity to work in unison with global partners in the UK and Europe, as well as other areas.

Looking to become a market leader around the world in innovation where entertainment is concerned, Entain produced plans for its investigation into the NFT zone, as well as virtual reality and augmented reality sectors. The development of what the company labelled as a “pioneering VR multi-sports club experience” as well as high street virtual reality arcades were both announced. Yet perhaps the most intriguing was the fact that NFTs were due to be rolled out at various Entain brands. PartyPoker, one of the best-known of these, is set to be the platform to lead the launch of such.

The PartyPoker NFTs are to be powered by Theta Labs, and through them, they will display “iconic video moments and tournament trends” relating to events that have happened in the site’s history.

Speaking on the launch, the CEO of Entain Jette Nygaard-Andersen said: “We want to lead the way with new, exciting products and experiences for customers and use out cutting-edge technology to pioneer innovations in sport, gaming and interactive entertainment for the metaverse”.

So that it is able to showcase the new innovations, Entain intends to open a lab in Farringdon, London this spring, which is located near the headquarters of TikTok and Snapchat in the UK. The company aims to operate alongside its commercial and not-for-profit partners as a way of supporting Ennovate. Within that lab, customers, investors, partners and others can go and experience the innovations and test them out.

What is the Difference Between Crypto and NFT Betting?

nft vs cryptoCould it be said that there is actually any difference between betting with digital currencies as opposed to NFTs? Well, at the end of the day, both of them surround the idea of gambling, so whichever you choose, you’ll need to adhere to a game with rules when you play at an online casino. Furthermore, you’ll also be aware of the fact that you stand a chance of winning or losing a game when you play it.

NFTs are, of course, considered to be purely hypothetical. Even if you were to purchase an NFT which was auctioned off for a large sum of money or was created by some well-known artist, you will need to sell it on at some point. That would be sold to someone who desires the NFT piece and who is happy with paying a price that you are requesting for it. Of course, that’s all fine and dandy if you’re happy with that yourself. Generally speaking though, NFTs could be considered as something for those people who don’t really care if they win or lose, and instead have a preference for collecting NFTs just for the sake of it.

That being said, with NFT gambling, you have the chance to show off the piece of art or whatever you possess. Some people have opted to create virtual galleries as a way of doing this, allowing other people to stop by and see the artworks that they “own”. Decentraland provides a site for this to occur at, for example.

There is a possibility for Bitcoin casinos to start rewarding players with NFTs as rewards in the future, too. Of course, it depends upon how popular NFTs become, but let’s say that you decide to play blackjack at a casino; you could potentially be playing that game for a specific limited edition NFT rather than for the normal ETH or BTC, for example.

To Conclude

It can be said that NFT betting is simply a form of gambling. Some have questioned if it works similarly to investing, but actually, it’s basically betting on games at a casino in the same way that you would with a standard currency. Instead of placing a bet of £25 on a game of roulette for example, you may place a bet of a specific NFT token on that same game. You win and you receive an NFT reward as a payout, and if you lose, then you lose it.

Does it have a future in the gambling world? Well, that all depends upon if players pick it up and find it entertaining. As noted, those with NFTs usually like to have them simply for the process of displaying them in a virtual gallery or just for the knowledge that they possess them. It’s not really about winning or losing, which does make them quite ideal for a casino world, considering it should solely be for entertainment purposes. Time will tell whether or not NFT gambling is something that sticks around for the foreseeable future.

Author: Julia Bowman