Peer-to-Peer Sports Betting Company ZenSports Gets Nevada Gaming License

  • ZenSports will lease the Big Wheel Casino and operate The Book at Baldini’s
  • The license does not allow for peer-to-peer betting or cryptocurrency, ZenSports’ specialties
  • ZenSports’ online sportsbook’s main feature is allowing users to bet against each other
  • The company gives perks for the use of its own cryptocurrency, the SPORTS utility token
Friends betting on a smartphone and laptop outside a stadium
ZenSports, which specializes in peer-to-peer sports betting, has earned a two-year gaming license in Nevada. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Close call

The Nevada Gaming Commission has granted a gaming license to California-based ZenSports Inc., a company that emphasizes peer-to-peer wagering and the use of cryptocurrencies. It was just a majority decision, 2-to-1 in favor.

approved neither peer-to-peer sports betting nor the use of cryptocurrencies

The one catch is that the license approved neither peer-to-peer sports betting nor the use of cryptocurrencies for wagering. So for now, ZenSports will lease the small Big Wheel Casino in Lovelock, Nevada (it’s literally a truck stop) and operate The Book at Baldini’s in Sparks.

Commissioner Rosa Solis-Rainey was the one who voted against ZenSports’ license, arguing that the company’s management was unproven and that it held a weak financial position. ZenSports said that the fact that it is leasing, not purchasing, the Big Wheel Casino means that its financial position is just fine. The two commissioners who voted in favor of the license (there are normally five – one resigned in May and one recused herself because of a potential conflict of interest) believed the short, two-year license was a good opportunity for the company to prove itself and there were 16 conditions ZenSports had to accept.

Book your own bets

ZenSports customers can place sports bets against the house like on any other site or app, but its differentiator is peer-to-peer wagering, where customers can bet against each other. Users can go into the app and create their own bets to challenge others to take. As part of the bet creation process, the bet maker also enters the maximum amount of money they are willing to risk.

they will find bets created by other users

On the flip side, those who are just looking for a matchup on which to wager can scroll through the bets and contests as they would on other sites. In the case of ZenSports, however, they will find bets created by other users. Bet takers do not have to necessarily bet the maximum amount listed, which offers some flexibility.

Bets need not be made public, either. Those who create the bets can opt to share them only with friends, a way for friends to have some fun wagering against each other and be able to settle bets easily.

Crypto encouraged, but not required

The other thing that separates ZenSports from most betting apps its use of cryptocurrency. Users can deposit and wager with good, old US dollars, but can also use Bitcoin and ZenSports’ own SPORTS utility token. Those who have USD or Bitcoin in their ZenSports account can use the app’s built-in exchange to buy SPORTS tokens or even actively trade them like any other cryptocurrency.

SPORTS tokens are built on ICON’s protocol and blockchain. To deposit SPORTS tokens directly into one’s ZenSports account, users must already have them in an ICONex wallet. Similarly, SPORTS token withdrawals go to a user’s ICONex wallet.

US dollars can be deposited using the Tether cryptocurrency or through a Skrill digital wallet.

ZenSports heavily pushes the use of SPORTS tokens on its app by extending special cash back and bonus offers for those using the currency. Customers who use SPORTS tokens also pay lower betting fees than do those who use Bitcoin and USD.

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