Who needs poker chips?
There's a new currency coming to Las Vegas casinos: the Bitcoin.
Starting Wednesday, The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino will begin collecting the digital currency that merchants are increasingly starting to accept.
two downtown Vegas properties, which share an owner, will accept the
currency at five locations, including their front desks and the D's Gift
Shop. Guests can also use the currency at the D Hotel's American Coney
Island hot dog shop and Joe Vicari's Andiamo Italian Steakhouse.
Bitcoin purchases will be processed through BitPay, which allows
merchants to accept Bitcoins just as they would Visa, MasterCard or
Bitcoin users buy the currency and typically store them in
a virtual mobile wallet. They can then make anonymous purchases on the
Internet. The downside of Bitcoin is that they are not distributed by
traditional banks and aren't regulated as such. Their value also
Still, mainstream merchants such as Overstock.com are starting to accept the currency.
READ MORE: It's all coming up aces in downtown Las Vegas
ALSO ONLINE: Divorce parties are hot in Las Vegas
travel industry has been slow to embrace Bitcoins. But Derek Stevens,
CEO of the D and Golden Gate, says he's willing to take a gamble. It is
Vegas after all.
"I'm proud that the D and Golden Gate will be the
first casino properties to accept Bitcoin," Stevens says. "We're
located in the growing high-tech sector of downtown Las Vegas, and like
all things downtown, we're quickly adaptive to new technology. The
timing is right for us to launch this initiative."
Stevens says he
decided to accept Bitcoins after several patrons asked him to. Tablets
programmed with BitPay will now be installed at each cashier.
it is apropos for the Golden Gate to adopt the new technology. Built in
1906, it is Vegas' oldest casino. It was also the first property in the
city to install a telephone.
Guests can still look at that 1907
Kellogg telephone in a display case located just steps away from the
cashiers that will soon begin processing Bitcoins.