Being a child of the early 80’s, I was there for the advent of the video game arcade era. Long before there was Metal Gear Solid and Halo, there was Pacman, Dig Dug and Donkey Kong. That was how a multi-billion dollar international business began. Think of the current console-based/online/mobile games as Video Gaming 2.0. Now, Video Gaming 3.0 may have just begun, in Bakersfield, California. This newest version is being driven by the world of digital currency arcades.
Is this Digital Currency Gaming or Gambling?
At Shamrock Social Gaming and Mining, you can get “newly-minted Shamrock Coin” for gaming, or mining, and it is all legal, according to their attorney Peter Beckman. Are they actually mining for a new altcoin? Are they running a virtual gambling operation to work around oppressive laws against gambling? Should this operation be taxable to The State if they deal in digital currency? Is being deemed illegal since the government isn’t cut in for tax purposes? This new wave into the grey area of commercial business creates more questions than answers.
People in the area see a flood of new people and activity in the area that is being diverted from the mall scene. Amy Polston is a local shopper who says this replaced an internet cafe and was curious about what was going on at Shamrock.
“One time I asked someone, ‘Did you get anything?’ And they said, ‘$50,’” Polston related. “So I said, ‘You actually won something?’ And they said ‘$50.’ So, I don’t know if that means digital, or what that means,” she described to KBAK News in Bakersfield.
Police seized a cache of computers on April 29th in their illegal gambling operation, and authorities say they will be aggressive in their crackdown. Three locations have popped up in the area and Bakersfield Police Sgt. Joe Grubbs says they are away of all three. According to Grubbs, people use cash to buy digital currency, and can redeem any digital currency won into a paper wallet. This wallet can then be taken to another location on Chester Avenue to redeem for cash.
The updated U.S. tax codes view digital currency conversions into U.S. Dollars as a taxable event. It is still unclear exactly where the legal issues start and end for this digital mining/gambling, both for the business and the users. Time will tell what the future holds for “Shamrock Coin” in the State of California.
Is turning digital gambling into a new altcoin mining business legitimate? Is The State of California on any ethical ground to stop this operation? Share above and comment below.