Whilst Delaware and Nevada were both granted licenses to legalize gambling in 2013, both states were found to merely test the waters in what was known as a ‘soft trial’.
It's Richard Branson’s Virgin Group that managed to seal the illusive contract in the state of New Jersey which sees them team up with the Tropicana Resort in Atlantic City. As a result of this movement the state is set to bring in over $1billion of gambling revenue of which will be taxed at 17%, each year.
Players will be strictly limited to playing within the state boundaries and this will be verified by GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking of their cell phones. Obviously this works fine for players playing over a mobile device but working with players using online versions of casinos will likely need to be addressed, due to the inaccurate readings many I.P. addresses give off.
Early figures suggest that the state could be seeing a colossus windfall of around $45 million, with these figure set to rise, according to H2 Gambling Capital.
What we do know, is that this will likely be the gateway for many more states to legalize gambling and also open the door for other companies to get involved and return to the industry. The likes of Party Poker and PokerStars have already been drawing up bids and finding suitable casinos to team up with. States such as Nevada and Delaware have licenses granted, but the success of New Jersey’s application will likely yield a large number of new applicants.
An interesting stat from the CEO of the American Gaming Association, Geoff Freeman stated that over 10% of the world’s gambling revenue ($3billion) came from US gamblers. This, bearing in mind, is from a country where gambling is illegal. His point was about the fact that prohibition wasn’t working and that legalising gambling would deliver over 22,000 jobs across the US; not to mention to huge numbers of revenue each state would receive.
December 2013 will be a monumental date in the calendar of mobile poker as a long fight against the illegalisation of online gambling in the US finally started to yield results.
New Jersey is now just one of a handful of states to be awarded a license to legally trade and promote gambling products to citizens within their state. As a result, a number of gambling entities will be looking to take advantage of this good news and leading the race to get in on the action is 888.
The company are the first to get their app licensed for download from the App Store. The product will be available on all iOS devices and along with the WSOP app, will be figure heads for the rest of the industry to follow.
It’s argued that the legalization of online poker was always – eventually – going to return to the US, but there will likely be a massive number of relieved CEO’s after hearing the news that companies such as Apple were willing to back them again with the promotion of their products from within their stores.
Party Poker are one of the first companies since the re-introduction of gambling within the state of New Jersey to be able to offer their poker app to users of iOS directly from the App Store.
The company have been one of the main lobbyists trying to get gambling re-licensed across the US and the news that they are one of the first to get into gear and get their app licensed within the App Store will likely come as little surprise to most.
The app can be played across a whole host of iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad and iPod. The use of the app will be limited to players who reside in New Jersey or who are visiting New Jersey and it will use geo-tagging to see the whereabouts of each player. Any players without geo-tagging enabled will simply not be able to use the app.
The news comes as another positive step for the US gambling industry. Whereas a couple of years ago the future looked very dark indeed, the emergence of licenses for states such as Delaware, Nevada and most recently, New Jersey will almost certainly mount a domino effect into states wanting to get in on the action.
Whilst it’s been common knowledge that Apple are very reluctant to include gambling apps within their App Store- especially in the early days – this willingness to supply the return of gambling sites to targeted area of the US will no doubt be another positive for a lot of gambling outlets in the industry.
We will likely see a large number of companies following suit in the state of New Jersey within the coming months and years.