How poker players use the Metaverse

Decentral Games’ casino has made $7.5 million in revenue over the past three months with daily user counts topping 5,000.

In a Metaverse often criticized for having nothing to do, the poker tables at Decentraland ICE Poker’s virtual casino have never been so full.

Decentral Games’ play-to-earn poker platform hosts about 6,000 players each day, accounting for more than 30% of Decentraland’s daily users. According to Decentral Games founder Miles Anthony, the game has generated more than $7.5 million in revenue through its various revenue streams in the last three months.

“At any given time, we have over 1,000 players playing poker,” Anthony said in an interview with CoinDesk. “That does not sound like a lot of users, but when it comes to the open metaverse, that’s pretty substantial, considering that the main problem with metaverses right now is that they are empty.”

As much press as “Web 3” is getting, it’s important to remember that the numbers are still small. The number of wallets (the pseudonymous but not entirely accurate measure of actual people interacting with Ethereum-based smart contracts) that interact with OpenSea on a daily basis is just 50,000, according to DappRadar. The non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace was valued at $13.3 billion in a funding round last month.

Decentral Games bet big on the metaverse a year and a half ago when it began acquiring virtual land in Decentraland. The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) says it has acquired more than 1,000 parcels of the game to date. This effort was supported in part by an investment from Decentraland itself in September.

The success of Decentral Games’ ICE Poker should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with online gambling platforms, which have been a hit among virtual communities for decades.

Anthony says the platform sees itself as a Web 3 iteration of the genre, requiring users to purchase one of its NFT wearables before they can win real coins. The casino has issued two separate tokens – ICE and DG – to support its Vegas-like ecosystem.

The wearables, sold in drops on the platform in limited supply, already fetch high prices on secondary marketplaces like OpenSea, holding onto a floor price of 2.46 ETH (around $6,500) at the time of writing.

With a high-priced point of entry, guilds have become a core aspect of the game’s ecosystem, Anthony said. He says the game has intentionally avoided relying on mega guilds like YGG for accessibility. Gaming guilds typically rent out key crypto assets for a share of future profits from retail users.

Despite the enormous hype around the future of the metaverse in recent months, few poker platforms have been able to successfully enter the space, in part because of regulation.

Virtue Gaming became the first play-to-earn poker platform with a Malta Gaming Authority license in December, though its platform differs from ICE Poker’s in that it makes money off traditional casino mechanics rather than from tokenization.

Anthony said Decentral Games is also preparing to launch a mobile iteration of ICE Poker in the coming months.

Source: CoinDesk
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