Large Online Poker Site is Doing Around $100 Million Worth of Bitcoin Payouts Per Month
Posted on November 19th, 2020 by Kyle Torpey and filed under Bitcoin.
According to Bloomberg, Winning Poker Network, which operates multiple sites including AmericasCardRoom.eu, has seen a massive increase in demand for payouts via bitcoin. Winning Poker Network CEO Phil Nagy says the company is having to purchase around $100 million worth of bitcoin per month to keep up with demand.
Winning Poker Network is a top-10 poker property in the world.
Nagy told Bloomberg that 90-95% of their payouts are currently made via bitcoin. Bitcoin usually accounts for around 60% of payouts made by Winning Poker Network, but it has become a much more popular payment option during the recent rally in the bitcoin price. On Tuesday, the bitcoin market cap hit a new all-time high.
Nagy says bitcoin brokers are currently charging up to a 1.5% premium on buy orders.
“We are constantly having to go out and buy Bitcoin — lots,” Nagy told Bloomberg. “Lots. More than we’ve even had to before.”
Although online poker is still illegal in most parts of the United States, most of the platform’s users are Americans.
According to Bloomberg Opinion writer Aaron Brown, players using bitcoin may be hoping to avoid taxes, as players are responsible for reporting their winnings on their own.
Nagy also told Bloomberg that Winning Poker Network does not hold bitcoin, and they try to convert it to fiat currency as quickly as possible due to the cryptocurrency’s short-term price volatility. Additionally, the CEO claims users often make deposits via Bitcoin when there is a price cash, as it effectively works as a way to quickly liquidate large bitcoin holdings. “When Bitcoin drops or does something significant, inevitably, we have people send us $100,000 or $200,000 in Bitcoin, because it’s the fastest way to liquidate it,” Nagy said. “And we are kind of stuck with it.”