Mobile Device Apps Await U.S.Gambling Legalization

David Williams | 24 Sep 2012

US LegislationAs average Americans such as Joe the Plumber await news regarding the passage of a bill floating around the Capitol halls to legalize poker online in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the mobile phone industry is waiting with bated breath as well. According to research studies conducted by comScoreMobiLens, a legalization act would enrich the Federal Government coffers with an estimated $48 billion by 2015. Since a myriad of Americans own mobile devices, statistics indicate that 7.6 percent of smart-phone users would elect to participate especially if the law included a clause granting individual states the right to formulate reciprocal casino agreements with other states. An early 2013 debut of gambling via mobile phone in Delaware could pave the way for Delaware to join Nevada in formulation of the first reciprocal agreement.

Following the recent enactment of an ordinance legalizing online gambling within state borders, the Nevada Gaming Control Board is testing a sports betting app created by Station Casino. Set to debut on October 31st, the app accepts five dollar wagers via iPhone and Android devices. It is anticipated that iPod and Blackberry users will be able to participate in the near future. Mobile phone owners who use Sprint as their service provider will see a 10 percent discount applied to their monthly billing statement for a maximum of $50 of gaming related expenditures. Sports Connection Boarding Pass Club members will have access to 17 casinos with a $100 joining bonus and an additional $10 bonus for each referral. Once released to the public, the free app will be available at iTune locations. After the app is downloaded, users will be required to set up an account at William Sportsbook with a minimum five dollar deposit.

To ensure that all gambling activities in Nevada adhere to gambling regulations, the usage of tracking device technology is being offered by a company headquartered in San Francisco. Locaid technology features the capability to coordinate mobile device GPS and IP data including state and zip-code to ensure that the device is being used within state borders. If a user leaves the state of Nevada, while online, Locaid has the capacity to interrupt the gaming connection.

Zynga Gaming appears to be heading in a new direction since rumor has it Zynga is preparing to make room for mobile devices to join Facebook in the social gaming network. A free-play poker app is being created for mobile devices as a practice field enabling users to hone their skills and develop strategies while awaiting the dawn of real-money poker games online. Zynga has entered into a partnership with Nokia to make apps for two poker games available on the Nokia Asha Touch.

DeNA, a Japanese mobile device producer plans to give Zynda a run for the money. This company currently produces apps featuring games requiring only five to ten minutes of a player’s time. According to DeNA officials, the fact that the average Japanese player spends $6,000 per month on gambling speaks for the popularity of these apps.