While it is still illegal to play slot machines on smartphones for real money in America, it hasn’t stopped the gambling operators preparing the market.
Gambling operators have been busy making deals with software development companies in order to build up a user base which could become extremely profitable if online gambling is legalised in the U.S.
For instance, International Game Technology bought casino app developer Double Down Interactive in January for $250 million cash plus another $250 million in potential payments.
Caesars Entertainment has bought a company called Playticka which makes the popular smartphone app Slotomania.
Greg Enell, the head of Double Down, said that “The thinking is that social gaming is a mechanism to build a large gambling-oriented audience now, so when elements of online gambling start to be legalized in U.S. we will have a big audience online.”
Already simulated gambling games are extremely popular, casino games which can be played on social networks and portable devices brought in $1.1 billion last year. The money is made by players purchasing virtual chips which can not be exchanged back into cash.
Gambling operators are hoping that online betting will be legalised in the U.S., it is then expected that a significant amount of social gamers would make the transition to real money gambling.