Kentucky Derby Betting Increasingly Cryptocurrency-Based

May 3, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

The Kentucky Derby! It’s an annual event marked by some of the most storied traditions around, from the mint juleps to the extravagant hats to the playing of “My Old Kentucky Home.” Gambling is also a major part of the Kentucky Derby, and this year will be no exception. Well, maybe a little bit of an exception, because according to some new reports we’ve got in, the Kentucky Derby’s betting this year will be a lot more cryptocurrency-based.

The report in from US Racing notes that bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and Litecoin will all be making much greater appearances in the betting pools connected with the Kentucky Derby. This isn’t the first time such betting has happened, but a few years ago, it was best described as a “nascent niche.”

US Racing’s operations director Tim Maxwell noted “…both the legality and associated risk management of accepting cryptocurrency needs further clarification before we see widespread adoption in the gaming and racing industry as a whole. The violent swings in bitcoin prices can add another layer of risk management that some public companies believe do not justify the added convenience for providing this deposit method to [their] customers. We expect a handful of publicly traded UK, Maltese and Canadian gaming companies to accept Bitcoin deposits on a trial basis by early to mid-2019 followed by land based racebooks and casinos in late 2019 and early 2020.”

It’s almost part of a process, when you look at it closely. Cryptocurrency has been increasingly joining the mainstream for some time now, and it’s the incremental changes that really hit the most. From Overstock.com taking it for goods in the stores to the feds getting in on the regulatory end—not to mention the almost grotesque whining from the IRS about where its cut is—it’s become clear that cryptocurrency is not going away, nor is it strictly the province of criminals and computer nerds.

Betting on the Kentucky Derby is just one more step forward in the march toward normalization and mainstreaming of cryptocurrency, a move that will likely shake up the various coins’ values when it goes through. If cryptocurrency goes mainstream, that will mean plenty of other changes to follow.