Silicon Valley Sets Sights on Online GamblingPublished February 22, 2013 by OCR Editor
Tech industry sees online gambling as the next big thing, if latest developments are indication
Recent reports indicate that Silicon Valley is betting on online gambling for the next billion dollar boom, as gaming firms increasingly move to set up shop in the world's dominant hi-tech region.
Silicon Valley-based gaming developers in Silicon Valley - from Facebook and Zynga to hundreds of smaller start-ups - are increasingly turning their social games into real-money gambling games, as we have reported here a number of times. But now existing online gaming firms are also moving into the Valley, in the hope of a changing US regulatory environment.
Betable, a London online gambling start-up that focuses on back-end support and gaming licenses, is the latest firm to open an office in San Francisco. As CEO Chris Griffin recently told the New York Times, Silicon Valley is :A kind of ground zero for the developer community," and is the place to be with the potential for American legalization.
Even as legislative efforts stall, Silicon Valley tech companies are not being discouraged, the Times report said. It pointed out that there is a belief within the valley that online gambling will soon become as simple as buying an e-book or streaming a movie. As this grows in popularity around the world, they believe, US legislation will have no choice but to keep up.
State of play
As these developments take place, things are changing in the US. Since a ruling last year by the US Department of Justice that gave states more autonomy on online gaming legislation, a number of states - led by Nevada and Delaware - have been laying the groundwork for intra-state gaming.
The global online gambling market is estimated to generate $32 billion a year, and some reports even see mobile betting alone reaching $100 billion worldwide by 2017. With incredible data like this, it is no wonder that Silicon Valley and the US hi-tech community seem to be betting on real-money gaming as the next big business.