As we’ve posted before, ‘social gaming’ is currently killing it – and now, The New York Times reports that Silicon Valley and international firms alike are trying to shift their focus from the less-regulated European markets to America.
One British executive, Chris Griffin of Betable, has established associates in San Francisco and licensed the company’s back-end platform to Valley developers.
American government has also begun preparing for the virtual gaming boom. State by state, policy-makers are beginning to analyze potential tax revenues from currently illegal versions of online gambling. Nevada and Delaware are “laying the groundwork for virtual gambling,” and other states on the fast-track to legalization include New Jersey, Mississippi, Iowa and California.
Some of the biggest opponents of the ‘virtual gaming’ movement are land-based casino magnates, including Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, who ironically opposes the games on moral grounds — for fear of children gambling. Others, like Caesars Entertainment – which purchased Playtika for $80 million in 2011 – are trying to gain a foothold in the burgeoning industry.
Though there are still regulatory hurdles, the ‘gamifying’ of online interactions – and virtualizion of casino interactions – is a serious disruption event in the making.