Playing online slots can sometimes be a lonely proposition. Even players who jump from slot to slot can get board when there is no interaction with other gamblers. That is why Mazooma Interactive Games is attempting to change the industry.

Mazooma will be bringing their new community gaming platform to the UK through Sky Vegas. The technology allows up to forty gamblers to play a wide variety of games offered by Sky Vegas and Mazooma. It is something Mazooma has been eyeing for quite some time.

"Our research shows that players tend to stay longer on the community games because of their social nature and so far we have been very encouraged by how popular this latest innovation by Mazooma has proved," said Tony Oliver, Managing Director of Mazooma Interactive Games.

Mazooma has signed a six month exclusivity deal with Sky Vegas, but both parties expect the relationship to go on well beyond the exclusivity deal. Snakes & Ladders and Cops & Robbers are two of the more popular games that can be found at Sky Vegas.

"Our existing games are designed to offer the player a familiar and exciting gaming experience in the online environment," said Paul Malt, Director of Games Design for Mazooma Interactive Games. "Where we differentiate ourselves from the rest of the market is that we have many years of experience and understand what motivates those playing our games."

What motivates most players these days is accessibility. With mobile devices becoming a popular tool for online gamblers, online casinos and software providers have scurried to create applications that are compatible with the top mobile devices on the market. Apps have already been created for Blackberry and the iPhone.

The world of online gambling is only now opening up to US residents, and with the rapid expansion of the industry comes a plethora of people who want in on the action.

The latest buzz comes from the gamer community, where industry insiders are considering their options when new laws take effect in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. Among the options is allowing gamers to bet against others in their online battles.

"We've reached a point where there is little left to the imagination within video games," said Analyst Grant Trowers. "Gamers have gotten very talented at the games they play, and naturally there is a competitive nature to the games. So it makes sense that at some point real-money wagering would become something that is explored."

It is not yet known how the laws in Nevada and New Jersey will address gambling on video games. The games are all connected via the Internet, and today's gamers have an entire nation of players to choose to compete with. Developers are not blind to the potential for a large gambling pool.

"I think there will be a lot of learning this year," said Big Fish Games CEO Paul Thelen.

Big Fish is one of the largest gaming providers in the the world. One of the detriments, however, to allowing gaming on video games, is the amount of underage players that are enjoying the games. There is the built-in problem of how to keep underage players from wagering.

Because of that, opponents are lining up against any form of gambling on video games.

To combat the potential problems associated with underage gambling, casino companies have started to explore the option of partnering with gaming companies and offering video games on their regulated platforms.

"Casinos know how to do business in a regulated environment," said Lathan and Watkins Attorney Roxanne Christ. "But gaming companies are bringing great content."

Seattle, Washington has always been a breeding ground for casino slot machine technology companies. In an industry where billions of dollars are generated in the US, Seattle lays claim to being the most innovative when it comes to creating new casino games.

Over the past year, the spotlight has grown even wider for Seattle technology companies. With dozens of states looking to regulate online gambling, the focus is again on the companies that can deliver the technology needed to ensure fair play and exciting games for all Internet gamblers.

DoubleDown Interactive is one of the companies that has recently been called on to become a major player in the Internet gambling industry. DoubleDown has partnered with Las Vegas-based International Game Technology in a deal worth $500 million. DoubleDown received $250 million of this money up front, with the other half coming when the product demand reaches the desired goal.

Nevada became the first state earlier this year to pass legislation regulating online casinos. That move has set off a firestorm across the US, with New Jersey, Delware, Florida, Iowa, Hawaii, California, and Maryland being just some of the states who have had discussions on the issue of Internet gambling.

What IGT did for DoubleDown with its investment is provide the financial backing needed to continue to advance the online gambling technology. It is a partnership that both parties are looking forward to, and one in which IGT hopes will become a long-term deal.

DoubleDown has moved from developing general online casino games, to ones that are more local-based designs. The local designs help make each game individualized for a specific area, and ensures that people in different states will be playing different slot games.

IGT executives believe that online gambling will be prominent in more than half of US states by 2015, with the majority of the growth coming over the next two years.

Seattle, meanwhile, will be reaping the benefits from the online gaming explosion. DoubleDown has increased their employee base in recent months, and the money they made in the IGT deal has already trickled down to the locals.

"Online gambling is going to be a big, big, business in the US," said Seattle resident Marc Hambler. "I'm just glad that my hometown will be the beneficiary of the industry. I'm looking forward to the future which is bright here in Seattle."

Every year, Las Vegas hosts the Global Gaming Expo, and there is no better place to reveal the future of the gaming industry than Sin City. This year was no different, as technology companies unveiled their latest games, several of which featured big-time celebrities.

The music industry is well-represented when it comes to slot games, and this year gamblers will be able to play along with Gene Simmons and his band-mates from Kiss. The Kiss slot was one of several that were shown off for the first time this past week. Dolly Parton, another musical legend, will also be featured in a new slot game.

On the television side of things, Judge Judy, the popular television judge who presides over divorce and civil cases, will receive her own dedicated slot game.

The new games did not stop with real people. Mobile games have become popular as cell phones have developed over the past decade, and two of the most popular mobile games, Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies will enter the slot arena after gaming executives revealed the new slot themes.

Pawn Stars, a popular television show, will get their first slot game this year. Pawn Stars celebrities Corey and Rick had the honor of cutting the ribbon on the exhibit hall, where dozens of new slots were on display for the first time.

Over 25,000 people attended the expo that ended on Thursday. The new slot games were exciting for visitors to see, but the biggest issue discussed at this year's convention was online gambling, and its progression into the US. Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have already passed online gambling regulation legislation, and with dozens of other states and the federal government considering doing the same, much of the conversation at the expo revolved around the issue.

Electronic gaming has become more commonplace across the US over the past decade, and recently Minnesota got in on the act. Minnesota lawmakers approved electronic pull-tab gaming, and this week the Gaming Control Board gave final approval for the games to begin running in bars.

Dozens of select bars have launched the new pull-tab games on iPads across Minnesota. Patrons have the ability to choose from several different games on the iPads, all of which could net them a big payout. By law, 85% of the money wagered by gamblers must be paid out in jackpots.

The gaming is officially called pull-tab, but most everyone knows what the machines really are, glorified slot machines. The bar owners and patrons, however, could care less what they call the machines, as long as they help keep the Vikings in Minnesota.

Over the past few years, Vikings owner Ziggy Hood has floated the idea of relocating the team if the state did not help finance a new stadium. The Vikings have been playing in the Metrodome since their inception, and have patiently watched as dozens of other NFL franchises received new homes.

Earlier this year, after years of failed plans to subsidize a new stadium, legislators finally agreed on a bill that allowed pull-tab gambling in electronic form, and in Minnesota bars. The state will receive 5.4% of the revenue from the machines across Minnesota, and out of that percentage, a portion will go towards assisting in the funding of a new stadium.

"I think this is a win-win," said Neil Banks, a patron at O'Gara's Bar and Grill, one of the first bars to offer the new games. "I don't have to sit around pulling paper tabs anymore to see if I've won money in the lottery, and we also get to keep the Vikings. This is one of the best things to happen in Minnesota in a long time."

That point is still up for debate. Opposition groups do not agree with the idea of bringing slot-like games into a traditional Conservative state when it comes to gambling. The opponents of the games believe it will cause more gambling addiction and crime.

Proponents of the games have maintained that the future of the pull-tabs has always been in electronic form, and that this was just a way to kick-start the process of bringing Minnesota gambling into the new millennium.

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.