US Gambling Online Moves to Mobile As Nine States Push for Legal Internet Gambling in 2014

United States gambling online is currently supported by just three states which have supported state-based companies for offering Internet poker. New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware all deliver the ability to shuffle up and deal online while placing real money wagers. While Delaware and Nevada also offer online casino gambling, at least nine other states are looking to legalize cyber gambling in some form. California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania are all pushing to enter the United States gambling online industry in 2014, and New Jersey is pressing to add Internet sports gambling. To use roulette terminology, the online gambling wheel is spinning. And when the ball drops, mobile gaming and gambling for real money will no doubt be a large part of the picture.

Most people consider the gaming industry as concerning popular titles like Candy Crush and the Call of Duty line of titles. But now that the First State, Silver State and Garden State are delivering legal US-based gambling online to their residents and visitors, gambling and mobile gaming are taking on slightly different appearances. This is because the birth of the US online gambling industry has occurred right alongside the growth of mobile gaming. More than half of web surfers prefer to access the Internet from their smartphones and tablets. So it is not difficult to predict that today’s mobile game manufacturers will slowly begin to develop mobile casinos, poker rooms and bingo halls that in the future will be adapted to accept real money wagers. Zynga is the 800 pound gorilla of social gaming, and they have already launched a real money gambling site in the United Kingdom. The Zynga Plus Casino hit the virtual world in a partnership with bwin.party, and has been both popular and successful.

It is currently tougher for social and mobile gaming companies to provide real money wagering opportunities for US players, but that attitude is quickly changing. The Gibraltar-based gambling company bwin.party reported close to 770 million euros in revenue in 2012 (about $1.05 billion in current US dollars). And every year billions of dollars of gambling revenue head to legally licensed and reliable offshore sportsbooks, casinos, poker rooms and horse betting websites. With continuing economic problems at the federal and local levels across the US, states like the ones mentioned above are eager to keep substantial money at home, instead of watching it head overseas. And in a recent study, the vast majority of US online gamblers stated that they would definitely frequent US-based legal online wagering websites if that option was available, as they would prefer to see their revenue stay in their own backyards as well.

And since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 outlaws only those transmissions of funds across state lines in the US, individual states have the ability to develop their own online gambling industries. Every state in the union currently offers legal gambling options except for Utah and Hawaii. These include physical casinos, floating casinos and lotteries, and they all financially benefit the states which offer them. Currently in the United States, there are more than 500 physical casino operations legally delivering real money wagering. And as mobile web activity increases alongside legal United States gambling online, the two are headed for an inevitable and long marriage. Already exceptionally popular, mobile gaming in the USA (currently a free play entity, with optional purchases offered) continues to grow, with free play casinos one of the most popular mobile games on the entire World Wide Web.

These “play for fun” mobile casinos and poker rooms can be accessed on the go, and once Internet gambling legislation is approved, accessing those popular mobile social games in states where online wagering is legal will surely include real money gambling options. New Jersey has reported Internet gaming revenue which was solid, and Delaware recently signed the historic Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement with Nevada, allowing both of those states to share each other’s poker player pools online. NJ is in talks with several UK-based Internet gambling companies and physical casinos to develop across-the-pond gambling partnerships. And California, the most populous of the United States, is almost certainly going to legalize some form of Internet gambling for real money in 2014. As smartphones and tablets become more prevalent, and begin to solidify their position as the preferred method for Internet access for most Americans, United States gambling online will move to mobile, as social gaming transitions from first person shooters to online casino and poker room real money gambling.