The Impact of Mobile Gambling on The Gaming Industry

It is difficult to find an individual who is not carrying around either a smartphone or a tablet device. The are fast becoming an essential piece of our day to day lives and we use them for everything from reading to banking. With the ever increasing advances in mobile technology there seems to be very little that we cannot do with our mobile phones. In fact, there has been a growing trend for using smartphones to gamble via online casinos, but what does this mean for the gaming industry?

Over the past year there has been an increase in the number of casino style games emerging on our smartphones from the likes of Zynga and similar social gaming developers. This sudden surge in the demand for online versions of roulette, poker and blackjack took ‘real world’ casinos entirely by surprise. However, before long developers were jumping on the chance to turn these social casino games from fun ways to pass the time into mobile gambling opportunities.

Helping Game Developers Get Started

One of the main companies behind the switch is UK based Betable, who have joined forces with a number of developers to offer online gambling it those countries where it is legal. This has increased the number of these games that are offering real gambling since Betable are offering up a platform which will handle all of the infrastructure including handling payments and verifying the players’ location to ensure the legality of play.

It is common for it to take up to a year and a half to get the proper licensing for such online gaming and the cost of cutting through all of the red tape can run to several million dollars. However, Betable can help developers to expedite this process. The CEO of Big Fish Games, Paul Thelen says that partnering with Betable allowed them to speed the process up by several months when they introduced their latest games to the U.K. last October.

Legalizing Online Gambling

With improved access to platforms like this, there has been a renewed interest in online gambling. The Department of Justice took steps last year to allow states to legalize online gambling with the exception of betting on sports. There are a number of states that are eager to take up the opportunity.

Nevada have already began issuing licenses for online poker and according to the American Gaming Association it looks as though Delaware and New Jersey will soon follow. It is estimated that online gambling could be legal across the U.S. Within 5 years. A recent study by Juniper Research indicated that mobile gaming revenue will reach $100 billion worldwide by the year 2017.

Casinos Plan To Develop Their Own Games

With mobile gambling proving to be popular, it should come as little surprise that many casinos are already looking into developing their own apps, although it is unlikely that anything will be released until they are legal all across the United States. Some casinos already accept online bets from outside of the United States.

Christopher Griffin of Betable believes that Casino games like poker and roulette are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ‘real money’ gambling. He mentioned an example of a game which allows players to raise their own virtual horses and then pay to enter them against other players’ horses in races.

The bottom line is that with the legalization of online gambling set to sweep the United States and mobile/social game developers looking for ways to attract new players it looks like mobile gambling could well be the future of the gaming industry.

Jim Dalton enjoys blogging about technology and games. He is currently learning to play poker online with his friends.

Filed in: Smartphone Apps

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