To allow players to play on their mobile device, they must first make sure that they are in the state of New Jersey (or other licensed state). An easy way to do this is by what’s called geo-location, which essentially works the same as your sat-nav but working out where you are from satellite signals sent by your phone.
HTML5 iPHONE POKER APPS GAIN POPULARITY
But there is a way around this for some mobile poker rooms. The integration of HTML5 to aid in the design and assembly of poker apps means that you are essentially playing via your web browser on your phone, which doesn’t require you to be in a specific state. Basically, goverments won’t be able to tag your location when you are playing Texas Hold'em, blackjack, slots roulette using any of these apps. Carbon Poker recently used this technology to great affect when they launched the world's first USA real-money iPhone poker game.
It’s going to be interesting to see just how many online poker rooms turn down this route for their mobile apps. Not only does HTML5 offer a version that doesn’t need geo-location to activate it, it also allows developers to make just one app for each platform, massively reducing costs.
Our opinion is that gambling apps that require geo-location will fail in the long term for the following reasons.
- Geo-tagging technology is extremely temperamental and does not work correctly if you have a weak network signal or if you live anywhere near the border.
- Poker players want to be able to use their real-money poker apps when they go on vacation or travel on business.
- Playing by the rules is less profitable. Why pay the costs associated with applying for a license and paying tax to an individual state or country when you can offer real money poker games that work perfectly well when played from the iPhone's Safari browser.
- Regulated online poker is already on the decline in countries like Italy who introduced it 2 years ago. During that period revenues have declined by a massive 50%.
- The increasing popularity of Bitcoin will make it virtually impossible for governments to stop the flow of digital peer-to-peer currencies to offshore gambling companies.