Las Vegas casinos bet on Bitcoin

Two Sin City casinos have begun allowing guests to use the virtual currency when paying for hotel stay, restaurants, and gift shops.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

A couple of downtown Las Vegas casinos are taking a gamble with Bitcoin payments. The D casino and the Golden Gate have announced that customers are free to use the virtual currency when paying to stay at their hotels, according to the Associated Press.

D's will also take Bitcoin at its restaurants and gift shop. While these Bitcoin payment options are a first for Las Vegas casinos, the establishments will not accept the virtual currency for gambling.

"For us, it's going to be somewhat exciting to see what kind of impact it'll have," co-owner of the two casinos Derek Stevens told the Associated Press.

Bitcoin has grown exponentially over the past year. It's been around since 2009, but didn't really get going until 2011 when it was worth $2 per coin. By 2013, the currency had climbed to $20 per coin, and then jumped to $266 last April. Within the past couple of months, it had another price jump and is now hovering around $1,000.

While some governments remain wary about the virtual currency, Bitcoin has grown in acceptance in recent months with some observers believing the digital currency could be the currency of the future. A Bank of America research report last month indicated that the decentralized currency could become a major contender to other types of online money-transfer providers.

Bitcoin has also gained popularity with retailers and in online marketplaces. Earlier this month gaming company Zynga began testing Bitcoin payments for some online games and the Sacramento Kings became the first professional sports team to accept the virtual currency to process payments for team merchandise and tickets. On Monday it was revealed that eBay will start allowing Bitcoin sales under a "virtual currency" category on its US and UK sites.