If you’ve ever been to the City of Las Vegas, you may find it easier to understand the proposition behind the Vegas City district in Decentraland – not that it’s too hard.
The idea is simple – build a virtual city where netizens can do everything that they can in the real-world Las Vegas city. So think casinos, strip clubs, concerts, theatres, and fashion. Vegas City is (or intended to be) a virtual Las Vegas.
In this review, we will take a deep dive into Vegas City and check out some amazing developments from the team behind one of the largest Districts in Decentraland. The city has not yet launched but so far there are exciting developments worth watching. But first things first, let’s start at the beginning and talk a little about Decentraland.
Brief Primer to Decentraland
Decentraland is a three-dimensional virtual world where users can interact in a simulated environment. The project is based on the popular Ethereum platform and exists fully on a blockchain.
Decentraland (DCL) is comprised of appoximately 90,000 parcels of land measuring 16m x 16m, or 52ft x 52ft. The parcel of land is limited which makes the available properties progressively more valuable with time effectively mimicking the value of real property.
What can you do on these parcels of land? Virtually anything! You can start a business selling clothes, jeweler, an automobile dealership or repair shop. You can start a university and admit students to attend classes, you can buy a large enough land to build a stadium for field sports.
However, the most appealing idea for many is to create a Sin City and that is what Vegas City is aiming at. A place where there are casinos, entertainment spots, esports and betting, and being a virtual real estate, you can buy virtual assets such as non-fungible assets based on the blockchain.
The land on Decentraland is limited, making any parcels desirable to a great number of people. To start the sale of the land, Decentraland organized the first virtual property auction back in 2017 raising close to $30 million.
Here are some of the other main districts in Decentraland:
- Decentraland Museum
- Decentraland University
- Dragon City
- Fashion Street
- Festival Land
- The Battleground
- The Haunted District
- The Seven VR
You can guess what each district is all about from their given names. For instance, Fashion Street is about fashion, the University about studies and the Museum about archeology and preservation of art and science. Similarly as explained, Vegas City is expectedly about life and living in a city like Las Vegas.
The idea of districts revolves around city planning where shops and enterprises of the same nature are grouped to make it easier to manage the businesses as well as make it easier for city dwellers and visitors to access services in a single location. It is a ubiquitous design in real-world city planning and honestly a nice feature that makes Decentraland appealing and more predictable to its users.
Now that you have an idea about the operation of Decentraland, let’s dive right into Vegas City and take a stroll around the digital sin city.
Introduction to Vegas City
IF you glance over at the Decentraland virtual map, it would be easy to spot the location of Vegas City, being one of the largest districts. It’s located in the top left-hand corner with the Cartesian coordinates -74, 63. All LAND parcels in Decentraland are defined using Cartesian plane coordinates (x, y).
This district is more suited for entertainment spots such as casinos, nightclubs, social halls, adult venues, and cinemas. If you were to visit DCL as a stranger and ask for an entertainment spot, you would ideally be directed towards Vegas City. Parcels in the district can also be leased out to developers wishing to set up shopping malls, apartments and any other type of development or enterprise.
The design of the district resembles the overall DCL design. The district is divided into four quarters, each ideally suited for differently focused entertainment spots. The quarters are the Entertainment, Sports, Casino and the Experience quarters. The quarter at the entry to the district is the Entertainment Quarter which also hosts the Welcome Plaza.
In this quarter you can engage in generally fun activities such as shopping in malls, going to movie theaters, partying in night clubs, and attending performances in music venues. The quarter is also divided into four sections namely: Trading Zone, FairGround Zone, The Show Zone, and the Free Play Zone.
Next up is the Sports Quarter and as the name suggests, this quarter is most suited to host sports-related businesses such as field games. The zones in this quarter are Race Zone, Extreme Zone, Battle Zone, Stadium Zone, and the Water Zone. Bringing competition to the district and being the go-to place in Decentraland for betting, are the main goals of the Sports Quarter.
The third quarter is the most appealing in the district and that is the Casino Quarter. This quarter is all about betting and gambling in the “splendor of the virtual world” If you’re thinking poker, blackjack, slot machines and roulette among other gambling games, this is the place to get them.
Zones planned for this quarter are the Strip Zone, Casino Zone, Poker Zone, Nightlife Zone, and the Resort. Below we will take a closer look at a highly anticipated casino launching called the Flamingoes Mega Casino.
The Experience Quarter is perhaps the least understood of all four quarters. Compare this quarter to a special section of the class nerds. It is a completely different kind of entertainment that will appeal to a particular section of revelers.
Here you will come across businesses focusing on sales of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) such as the tokens associated with the Flamingos casino, which can already be visited, although it is in a relatively early stage of development compared to Chateau Satoshi which is another casino in the district. This is the quarter in which to buy or sell crypto-collectibles and other related assets such as virtual art. Zones in this quarter are Demo, Gaming, ‘Holodeck’, Adrenalin and the Competition Zones.
The Flamingos Mega Casino
The Flamingos Casino is the biggest project to come out of Vegas City so far, and may well be the biggest venue in Decentraland. Produced jointly by Vegas City and Decentral Games, the casino’s development is approximately 50% complete, according to James.
The casino is already live with slot machines and roulette which you can go and play today. The team have developed an NFT that represents a ‘managed stake’ on the parcel of land on which the casino is built. These tokens are already selling for hefty prices on the OpenSea marketplace but they retailed for between 7,10 and 15 ETH.
“These tokens are a new concept that we have come up with. The owner of the token is leasing a 1 parcel square inside the Flamingos casino. Decentral Games then pay the holder of that token a rent, for them to deploy and operate the games. This rent is paid from profits earned by the games.” Ashton explained.
So here’s the full selling proposition for the Flamingos: according to Ashton, once you are a leaseholder in the Flamingos or Vegas City for that matter, you are assured a 20% cut of total profits associated to your parcel of land, the other 80% goes to pay your coming leasehold renewal.
So for instance, if the renewal fee is 8 ETH and the given parcel of land earns 1 ETH each month, then 80% of those earnings would be deducted automatically for 10 months. Once the renewal fee is completely paid after the first 10 months, any earnings after this will be 100% for the owner of the parcel, which in this example would be 1 ETH per month.
Lease renewals last 2 years so for instance and then the cycle starts again. So it is a perpetual holding which James described as, “buy once, keep forever”. The only way you can lose the token is if you sell it on a site such as Opensea. It is the same principle as holding real estate in the real world.
To further emulate the real world, Ashton says that owners of parcels of land are advised they are able promote their parcels in the Flamingos. The better a piece of land is promoted, the more valuable it becomes and the greater the earnings from a business located on that parcel. This then translates to more profits.
“This makes it a game of skill and entrepreneurship and makes it very different from a revenue paying token that can be confused with a security,” he said adding “this is about ‘who makes the best casino’ landlord. But people who do not [market] their URL or spend time with their land will still earn a return by virtue of the location of their parcel.”
Decentraland is a great application of blockchain technology offering a new kind of escape for revelers and a new kind of entrepreneurs. Anyone can access the ecosystem through a normal browser (Vegas City recommends using Chrome or Firefox for the best user experience.) You can also use a VR kit as well.
Most gambling and betting platforms (both on and offline establishments) are often accused of playing against the players or having winning odds set up for players to lose. This is where blockchain helps solve this concern. In a place such as Vegas City, players will be able to engage with completely transparent systems. It remains to be seen how popular the application will become, however, it is easy to see the appeal of potential massive profits for early investors in Vegas City and Decentraland at large.
Further info can be found here:
Vegas City – https://www.vegascity.org/
The Flamingoes Casino Announcement – https://www.vegascity.org/news/2019/10/19/the-flamingos
Vegas City OpenSea Marketplace – https://opensea.io/assets/vegas-city-land-lease
The Flamingoes Casino Terms Sheet – https://www.vegascity.org/s/The-Flamingos-Terms-Sheet.pdf