It is not only gaming companies and local governments that are preparing for a change in US online gambling law. in a move that signals change is coming to the US, Apple has announced that they will allow real money gambling on the ever-popular IPhone. Big Fish Gaming will become the first gaming company to offer the real money gambling.
Big Fish Games Inc., based out of Seattle, Washington, is developing the technology for Big Fish Casino to come to the IPhone. Big Fish has a partner, Betable Ltd., based in London, that will allow the UK mobile gaming. Technology companies have been building towards mobile gaming for several years, and the time has come to put their plans into place.
Apple may be the company that is permitting online gambling, but they also are staying away from collecting their share of gambling winnings. With some apps, Apple takes a cut of sales. That is not going to be the case originally with the mobile gaming applications.
"Apple wants to keep arms' length from this," said Paul Thelen, CEO of Big Fish. "They don't want to be the middleman in a gambling operation."
Big Fish has watched their revenue grow in recent years, with revenue reaching $180 million in 2011. The move to mobile devices is expected to significantly increase the $180 million figure.
Analysts have already changed their prognostication for mobile gaming revenue. Juniper Research estimated last year that gamblers would wager $100 billion annually on mobile devices by 2017. That would represent an increase of $80 billion over the total wagers of $20 billion last year.
"This is the biggest opportunity that game developers have had since the advent of the Internet," said Betable CEO Christopher Griffin.
Big Fish will not be the only gaming company operating online casinos. Zynga, the company responsible for bringing popular games such as Farmville, MafiaWars, and Word with Friends, has announced that they plan on running real money mobile casinos starting in 2013.