888Poker Release "Instant Play" Web App For iOS
In May, The 888 group released a new version of their mobile app for iPhone and iPad in order to circumvent the restrictions imposed upon them by iTunes. Apple only allows real-money gaming apps to be hosted via iTunes if they are downloaded in territories where online gambling is legal. The new version of 888's poker app was written in HTML5, meaning it could be played via the Safari or Chrome browser on iOS-enabled devices. United States players were still restricted from playing though.
Read Money Mobile Poker Arrives In The USA
Poker players in the United States of America now have 2 option for real-money mobile poker. They can play cash games at Ignition Casino or BetOnline Mobile.
The app also included the ability to stream the SkyPoker TV Channel. In November, Sky announced that they were the first Poker site to make use of the iPhone's 'Touch ID' (fingerprint recognition) to login to their app.
iPhone & Android Poker Sites Accept Bitcoin Payments
So, what will 2015 bring? As our world becomes increasingly virtual – with virtual stores, virtual gaming and virtual communications becoming evermore prevalent, surely it is only a matter of time before we all become users of virtual currencies in order to fund our virtual lifestyles. Bitcoin is slowly becoming increasingly popular as the internet's version of cold, hard, cash. Using Bitcoin does not require the intervention of financial institutions as bitcoin transactions are sent peer-to-peer, which is the virtual equivalent of handing someone a five pound note.
US Regulated Online Poker Market Fails To Deliver
US Players already had cause for celebration after New Jersey became the first state to legalise online gambling, which it had done so in November 2013. New Jersey was quickly followed by Nevada and Delaware, and these two states signed a deal in February 2014 that allowed Nevada poker players to play at Delaware-based online casinos and vice versa.
While US poker players were quick to embrace this new opportunity, US-based credit card companies were less than enthusiastic. Many firms remained unconvinced of the legality of allowing their cards to be used for funding online poker accounts, and decided to play safe rather than sorry.
As well as the credit card issue, US players also faced the issue of geo-location problems with their iPhones. To be legally allowed to play in a US-based online casino, players had to physically be within the state boundaries of the poker room to which they were connected. To ensure of this, poker apps used the geo-tagging technology of the iPhone to pinpoint the phone's location.
Unfortunately, great numbers of players found that the geo-location systems on their iPhones, which rely on strong satellite signals, were temperamental at best, and completely useless at worse. Such players could be standing right next to the physical location of the servers on which poker games were being offered, yet would still be barred from logging in.
As a result, those initial targets of revenues approaching $500 million per annum in New Jersey alone came to be understood as being wildly optimistic. As it turned out, figures for the first year were closer to a much less than inspiring $100 million.
The first company to open a regulated poker room in the US – Ultimate Gaming – decided to close its doors to New Jersey residents in September, and to Nevada poker players two months later. They were followed by Betfair Poker in December, who revealed that during 2014 they had managed to pull in a disastrous total of $50 in rake, including nothing at all in October.
These growing pains as the US continued to slowly re-embrace online poker meant that US-based poker players remain best placed to use off-shore poker rooms, such as those provided by Carbon Poker and Bodog Poker.