Virtue Gaming, a provider of a decentralized online poker platform built on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, launched the first pay-to-play digital poker casino in the United States this Friday.
The United States currently has only six states that regulate online poker (Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan). Since the country is concerned about international poker platforms taking away revenue from its domestic, land-based gambling venues, it has been slow to take action on this subject. Moreover, even in the states listed, poker platforms must obtain licenses from each individual jurisdiction to operate.
U.S. residents therefore can’t access popular online poker platforms, including PokerStars and 888 Poker, which are available to players worldwide.The solution proposed by Virtue Gaming was to offer users 500 Virtual Player Points, or VPPs, worth approximately $147.37 USD. Upon signup, players will receive these free of charge. Players who meet the minimum playtime requirements in cash games and tournaments can then exchange their VPP for Tether (USDT). Virtue Gaming’s locked sidechain smart contracts would enable U.S. players to stake VPP, Ether (ETH), or other crypto into the game as a stake to compete against those in other countries. For the purposes of preventing cheating, the platform employs peer-to-peer encrypted shuffling for all decks.
According to legislation, “The sponsor of the game or contest provides free points or credits to participants that can only be redeemed for activities related to the sponsored game or contest”. Currently, over 25,000 players from outside the U.S. are playing on the platform.