As evidenced by a Google search for 'bitcoin casino', bitcoins and gambling go together like two pedals on the same bike.
Bitcoin's appeal as a cheap, efficient and low-key means of transmitting money has made it a hit among both online bettors and operators seeking reduced fees, lower chargeback risk and a way around legacy payment systems.
But as of now, these benefits mainly apply to online casinos operating in jurisdictions with little or no regulatory oversight.
While there has been some movement in Curacao, the UK and Malta recently, the use of cryptocurrencies in a legal and strongly-regulated gambling environment like the US still remains largely at the conceptual stage.
Because of heavy regulation and a desire among the gaming industry and its regulators to protect the industry's slowly improving public image, bitcoin appears to be years away from earning approval for use in either physical or online casinos in the US.
"We have looked at digital currencies and do not find them appropriate for use in casino gaming at this time," AG Burnett, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, told Coin Desk.
As Nevada is by far the country's largest gambling market, its regulators have an outsize influence on policymaking nationwide.
Burnett continued: "I think for us to consider allowing operators to use digital currency in gaming operations, there would have to be a high level of demand amongst operators, coupled with a clear demonstration of the safety and accountability that regulators could utilize in their duties." Asked why he maintains this position, Burnett stressed that the US dollar remains the backbone of Nevada's regulatory apparatus, and that any rethink of that must meet a high standard of merit.
"Our regulations and statutes are all based on monetary units that are standard, such as the US dollar," he said.
"In fact, I think most of our regulatory foundation, from audit to enforcement and accounting standards, are all based upon normal US currency being used in a gaming operation." Burnett added that too much ambiguity surrounds bitcoin and its contemporaries, while questions of consumer demand still remain.
"There are multiple types of digital currencies, whereas there is only one US dollar," he said.
But none of this is to say that there isn't enormous opportunity for the use of bitcoin in a legal and regulated gaming context.