Times are tough during the coronavirus crisis and millions are idling at home. Which is why video game giant Atari is launching an online casino using cryptocurrency.

Virtual Gaming

The land-based casino closures caused by the coronavirus have left a huge hole in gambling profits. There has been an increase in online casino action since then, and now Atari is launching its own virtual casino in cyberspace to cash in on the virtual gaming action.

While the types of games on offer have yet to be revealed, Atari plans to exchange cryptocurrency for special “Atari Tokens” in order to play. Visitors to the Atari crypto-casino would be able to play live games with other players as well as betting on low and high stakes games. Atari Tokens can later be exchanged for assets or real money.

Atari says cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum can be used to make a deposit, and the virtual casino will also support PayPal and credit card deposits.

The Atari casino website is already up and running and accepting new player registrations, but the official casino launch date has not been announced.

Life Under Lockdown

People stuck at home suffer from cabin fever and boredom at some point, so entertainment and other distractions has become extremely popular. For regular patrons of land-based casinos, online casinos are just the ticket to keep the table and slots action going.

But it’s not all good news for gambling at home. The UK Gambling Commission opposes online betting firms using COVID-19 to target home gamblers. However, online casino advocates argue that land-based casinos are losing boatloads of money every day they are closed, so online gambling is a smart bet.

Not all gambling firms play fair; some online casinos in Holland pitched ‘corona-free’ gambling in their advertising, drawing the ire of Dutch gaming regulators. It’s not a question of offering online gambling during quarantine; it’s a question of poor taste.

But Atari is trying to leverage a bad situation in order to provide a stay-at-home gambling option during the current crisis. Another plus touted by Atari regarding their virtual casino is the fast payout times. Cryptocurrency payments can move much faster than cross-border hard currency transactions, and there is no need for lengthy verification processes. There are also fewer restrictions placed on cryptocurrencies because they are decentralized and not tied to a specific country.

If all goes according to plan, Atari will join the growing army of online casinos offering services to those under lockdown. And there is nothing wrong with gambling online; just be sure to do it in moderation.


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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.