The Ethereum blockchain development company SmartPlay has reportedly placed one of their cryptocurrency gambling machines in a land-based casino. The SmartBox machine operates on smart contracts using the Ethereum blockchain. This is a separate blockchain than Bitcoin is found on and ETH has its own value. Rather than having a random number generator and gaming software within the machine itself, the gambling program is actually written into the blockchain.
The sponsored post, which the company placed on Bitcoinist.com, does not go into much detail about what sort of games are available on the machine, nor where it is located. However, the company’s official web page notes the production of the first blockchain gambling machine on November 16, 2017, and references only SmartRoulette as a game developed at that point in time. Company documents indicate that future developments will include poker, blackjack, and slots.
The machine is said to accept fiat currency (most likely paper rubles) which then converts them into the company’s own coin called the RLT (roulette token). The alt-coins are available for purchase and sale on Russia’s LiveCoin exchange (account required) and have been listed on the Eidoo Exchange. The machine, as currently deployed, is only for beta testing and proof of concept, no real money bets are being accepted on it at the undisclosed casino location. If the beta test is successful the company plans to start mass production of the SmartBox.
SmartPlay did an initial coin offering (ICO) on April 7, 2017, with the goal of raising $100,000 to $150,000 by offering 2.5 million units of 10 million created at an initial price of 0.0015 ETH at the time. The value of the RLT was about $0.07 based on ETH currency and with the explosion of the markets is now worth about $1.15. The ICO was worth $126,150 at the exchange rate as of 04/10/2017 at the end of the three-day sale. The number of tokens sold was 1,874,170.
One interesting element of the game machine is that one-half of one-percent of each bit is returned to players as a bonus in RLT coins. The company looks at this is a way for players to own part of SmartPlay and to profit off the gambling of future players. The company claims to have already paid more than $300,000 to players in the form of RLT tokens.
The company’s smartroulette.io website is operational but US players have been restricted since May of this year.
According to a quote in the company’s press releases, Philipe Comini, CEO of the Gimmer project said: “SmartBox looks pretty reliable and I can see the technology is going forward, so I give my thumbs up and hope everybody can join as well. [It’s] a very revolutionary technology introducing the blockchain on gambling, and I’m really watching for SmartBox”.
One selling point the company is using to place its machines on live casino floors is that they will be able to eliminate croupiers, cashiers, and accountants as all processes are handled via smart contracts on the blockchain. The games are also probably fair as nobody, not even SmartPlay can change the blockchain once it is written.