LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Two Las Vegas casinos will become the city's first to accept the Bitcoin virtual currency from this week, their owners announced on Tuesday.
The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel and the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, which are owned by the same company, announced that as of Wednesday they would process transactions through BitPay, among other regular payment options.
"I'm proud that the D and Golden Gate will be the first casino properties to accept Bitcoin," said the two properties' chief executive Derek Stevens, who said he decided to do so after several customers asked him about using Bitcoin.
Bitcoin will be accepted at five locations, including the two hotels' front desks, a gift shop and Italian restaurant.
The Golden Gate, built in 1906, is the oldest casino in Vegas - and has a history of pioneering new technology, being the city's first to install a telephone in 1907, according to its owner.
"We're located in the growing high-tech sector of downtown Las Vegas, and like all things downtown, we're quickly adaptive to new technology," said Mr Stevens.
"The timing is right for us to launch this initiative, and I'm happy to be able to offer this to our customers." Bitcoin was invented in the wake of the global financial crisis by a mysterious computer guru using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
Unlike other currencies, Bitcoin does not have the backing of a central bank or government. Instead, the units are generated by a complex computer algorithm designed by one or more anonymous people in 2009.