With Delaware and Nevada both now preparing to offer online poker legally for the first time in the United States, companies are lining up to try to get a piece of the billion-dollar online gambling pie. 3G Studios is one such game developer based in Reno, Nevada and they are betting heavily that online gambling will be more than a passing fancy in the United States and abroad. They are a privately held company who recently hired more than 75 contractors in China and India, and stateside they have 47 US employees.
A spokesman for the US company says their plans are to have 200 outside contractors designing and making online poker and other gambling games by the end of 2012. And the potential market in the United States appears to only be growing larger. California has recently seen an aggressive push towards legalizing online poker, and New Jersey is probably the state which is closest to becoming the next to pass some form of online poker legislation. Things are happening rapidly, and are only possible due to the December 23 ruling by the United States Department of Justice that reversed their longtime ban on most types of Internet betting.
James Kosta is the Chief Executive Officer of 3G Studios, and he stated his belief that online betting in the United States will attract gamers which are not your typical brick-and-mortar casino crowd. He mentioned the incredible popularity of games such as Angry Birds that appeal to literally millions who would never be caught dead playing something like World of Warcraft. He said that he and his company have noted for some time that gambling is fundamentally changing from a pastime where you would physically sit in a casino and play a table game or spin a wheel, to an activity you can casually enjoy when as he put it, “… you have a three-minute break at work.”
3G Studios is rather young at only six years old, but they have already become a well respected name in the online gaming industry. Their biggest coup early on was helping Jillian Michaels produce her Fitness Ultimatum 2009 workout program that sold millions of copies. They also created their own first-person shooter, titled Brave Arms, on social networking giant Facebook, and are currently in the works to launch a large online slots site later this year. US players will be able to play for free with virtual currency, and as states legalize online gambling, they can transition to wagering cash if they so desire.
Kosta said that he believes it is simply a matter of time before online poker and other forms of gambling are legalized nationwide in the US, and that he wants his company poised to be able to offer a safe and enjoyable experience to those responsible US gamers who decide to add a small wager to spice up their gaming experience. Far from the only online gaming concern interested in the potentially powerful payday that online gambling could deliver, they join some pretty heady company in that regard. Online social gaming giant Zynga is currently in talks with several other companies regarding online gambling sites which offer a pay for play option. And International Game Technology recently purchased Double down Interactive, one of the more popular online casinos on Facebook, for $500 million earlier this year.