Atari Setting Up Crypto Casino to Tap Into Nostalgia and NFTs

Entertainment software company Atari SA plans to start an online casino next month, the latest step in Chief Executive Officer Frederic Chesnais’s effort to revitalize the firm.

The casino, developed in partnership with Decentral Games on the Ethereum blockchain, will include Atari-themed games and Atari non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which can be leveraged to earn more digital currency. The companies expect to see bets of $150 million in 2021 and $400 million over two years, according to their joint statement.

The collaboration “can move the Atari gaming experience onto the blockchain,” Chesnais said.

Casinos on the blockchain have attracted a mix of skepticism and enthusiasm, with crypto fans seeing them as the future of gambling and conducting hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions on networks like Justin Sun’s Tron. NFTs have risen to wider popularity in recent months as an alternative investment vehicle, marking pieces of digital art as unique and trading on the expectation that enforced scarcity will make them more valuable over time.

Chesnais has been trying to make Atari more modern and relevant, including previous cryptocurrency-related forays. Atari’s predecessor companies raised a whole generation of gamers with arcade and home titles like Asteroids and Pong in the 1970s and 1980s, but the firm has long been sidelined by stronger, bigger rivals.

Decentral Games is backed by Digital Currency Group, whose main subsidiary Grayscale Investments LLC manages the largest traded Bitcoin fund.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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