Here we go again. Another billionaire is comparing Bitcoin to gambling and the dark web. This time it’s Ted Leonsis. He’s the former chairman of AOL.com and the current owner the NHL’s Washington Capitals, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the NBA’s Washington Wizards. The most recent figures surrounding Leoonsis’ net worth list him as having $1.3 billion to his name.
With a net worth that makes him one of the world’s wealthiest people, it probably comes as no surprise that Leonsis has a penchant for taking risks, as any successful businessman would. But Leonsis’ biggest gamble is on the gambling industry itself.
He always viewed legalizing gambling in the United States as necessary. He recently told Forbes “Let’s take this shadow economy which is going to explode even more with bitcoin and the dark Web, and bring it into the light.”
Why Leonsis Compares Gambling to Bitcoin
It’s clear by Leonsis’ comparison that he thinks Bitcoin is just a way for people to slide under Big Brother’s watch. He’s holding on to the still popular belief that Bitcoin is just an excuse to duck taxes, that’s it’s insanely risky, and that predominantly ill-willed individuals are the ones capitalizing off of the technology the most.
And yet, he does think that gambling should be easily accessible to fans at the sports arena that houses his teams, the Capital One Arena. That’s right! Leonsis says it’s time for the sports industry to capitalize on all the days when arenas are empty and there are no games scheduled to be played. Emphasis on the word days. The Capitals owner envisions a future where people pack the Capital One Arena in the daytime to place wagers.
Leonsis thinks gambling should be more like a day on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange rather than subscribing to a traditional casino vibe featuring red carpets and flashy lights everywhere. He wants gambling to come out of the underground, be properly taxed and legitimized, as do many others. That’s why gambling is now being legalized across the country.
The irony is, Bitcoin is also being legitimized, legalized and promoted in many more places across the world than it ever was 11 years ago. Like gambling, investing in Bitcoin is also quite the volatile endeavor. Although the price is increasing over the last 24 hours, the cryptocurrency is taking a huge nosedive as of late. Still, both gambling and Bitcoin go hand in hand, and people like Leonsis will eventually have to see the value in it because people will continue to take risks to build wealth with both vehicles.
Gambling is One of the Top Uses for Bitcoin
The target market for both sports gambling and cryptocurrency investment are exactly the same. Young men between the ages of 21-35. That’s just one reason gambling happens to be one of the biggest reasons people invest in Bitcoin and other digital currencies in the first place.
Another reason is perhaps the fact that investing in Bitcoin involves exposing oneself to huge price swings and the same degree of unpredictability as betting on a sporting event. The target market gets the same rush of dopamine from both.
But it’s perhaps the third reason that matters the most. Casinos are like banks. They hold onto large volumes of money and their customers demand high levels of security be on standby to protect that liquidity. That’s why it’s perhaps Bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain, that might provide the greatest use case of all for gambling. Protecting the finances of players like you.
So will Leonsis’ mindset ever change? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing’s for sure, a lot of the young adult, male demographic that walks into the Capital One Arena to gamble in the near future might be asking dealers if the establishment accepts crypto for wagering.