Thursday, May 22, 2014 | 12:10 p.m.
Map of The D Las Vegas
301 Fremont St, Las Vegas
Two Las Vegas-based businesses have brought the first Bitcoin ATM to Nevada – and it’s inside a downtown casino.
On Wednesday, the D Las Vegas became the first casino anywhere to install a Bitcoin ATM on its premises. Las Vegas-based Robocoin installed the ATM, which will allow customers to deposit cash into their Bitcoin wallets – usually a smartphone app – as well as exchange Bitcoin for dollars.
“The D and Robocoin are both located in the growing high-tech hub of downtown Las Vegas, which made this a natural fit,” said Derek Stevens, co-owner and CEO of the D. “But we ultimately chose Robocoin because it is easy to use, extremely secure and one of the best brands in Bitcoin.”
Bitcoin, developed in 2008, is an alternative form of money traded between individuals, businesses or both for goods and services. No single company or government backs it, and there are no assets behind it.
The D in January began accepting Bitcoin as payment at the hotel’s front desk, its restaurants and gift shop. The D’s sister property downtown, the Golden Gate, also accepts Bitcoin for payment at its front desk.
The currency has not yet won Nevada regulators’ approval for use on casino floors. However, Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelley says there are signs pointing toward more institutional acceptance on all levels for Bitcoin.
“Robocoin has emerged as Bitcoin’s leader in anti-money laundering/know your customer compliance,” Kelley said. “Last month, we demonstrated our capabilities in front of Congress and this month we’ll launch in … Nevada.”
Robocoin is the first company to introduce a Bitcoin ATM in the United States, and the D is just the seventh U.S. property to have one of the kiosks installed onsite. Four others are in Texas, and there are one each in California and Washington state.
Around noon Thursday, one Bitcoin was worth about $519, according to the website preev.com, but its value fluctuates wildly. The actual value is determined at the instant a transaction is made.
The D Las Vegas is the new revved-up name for a longtime downtown Las Vegas hotel, Fitzgeralds, which had been in operation since 1987.
Owner Derek Stevens rebranded and refurbished the hotel in fall 2012 to give it a motor city theme, using the nickname of his beloved city, Detroit, for the name of the new hotel. He also brought in two restaurant favorites from Detroit: American Coney Island and Joe Vicari's Andiamo Italian Steakhouse.
The property features 638 remodeled contemporary rooms and suites. The unique two-level casino included slots and table games. Dancing dealers are featured on the first floor. And the second floor transports guests back in time to old-school Vegas with its Vintage Casino.
The casino also features the LONGBAR, the longest bar in Nevada, where sports fans can watch games on big screen TVs. Outside on Fremont Street, D Bar invites guests and passerby alike to enjoy refreshing frozen libations and specialty cocktails as talented, trickster bartenders send bottles and glasses flying through the air.
The Showroom at the D features the interactive comedy show, "Marriage Can Be Murder," where guests can be part of the mystery.