A major online poker website has been buying millions of dollars of bitcoin every day to meet demand from players wanting to cash out in bitcoin. This amounts to $100 million in bitcoin a month as about 95% of players now demand payouts in the cryptocurrency.
Poker Site Buys $100 Million of Bitcoin
Demand for bitcoin payouts has been rising, particularly after the recent price rally. One of the largest online poker websites, Winning Poker Network (WPN), has been buying millions of dollars worth of bitcoin in recent weeks from OTC desks to meet players’ cashout demand, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing WPN CEO Phil Nagy.
Nagy explained that bitcoin is in so much demand that brokers are charging up to a 1.5% premium. He clarified that WPN does not hold onto bitcoin, adding that the cryptocurrency is converted into fiat currency as soon as possible.
He revealed that his platform does more than 60% of its transaction volume in bitcoin, totaling about $100 million a month. Noting that about 60% of customers cashed out in bitcoin before the recent price rally, he said:
Right now 90-95% of our payouts are people asking for bitcoin because it’s going up. We are constantly having to go out and buy bitcoin — lots. Lots. More than we’ve even had to before.
WPN, which began accepting bitcoin in 2014, supports several popular poker rooms, including Americascardroom.eu, Yapoker.com, Blackchippoker.eu, Truepoker.eu and Pokerking.com. Customers can deposit dollars and make withdrawals in bitcoin. Nagy revealed that about 60% of the platform’s customers are from the U.S. even though online poker is illegal in most states.
According to a study by The Business Research Co., the poker industry grew 43% since April. Online gambling has become more popular since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, particularly after the shutdowns prevented many people from visiting real casinos.
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