Posted July 28, 2013 by John Baintree in News

Virtual Cash For Online Gaming


Virtual Money is becoming a bit of a buzz phrase, especially online amongst the tech community.  Digital Currency is a new concept for most of us but it’s becoming increasingly common as we strive to become a ‘paperless society’.  The online phenomenon that is Second Life has been using virtual ‘Linden Dollars’ (L$) that its players can spend on buildings, vehicles, skins, breedable in game animals (you can get a dragon!) and works of art.  L$s can be earned within the game and can be exchanged for US Dollars or other currencies on market based currency exchanges.

Over the past couple of decades the way in which we pay for goods has changed with fewer and fewer people carrying cash, preferring instead to pay by card.  This has led the way for the development of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Feathercoin and Webmoney to name just a few.  Even Facebook has managed to get in on the act with its Facebook Credits.

Online gambling is big business, despite the negative publicity it’s received in some quarters.  Lawmakers in countries in all corners of the globe are playing catch up so if we want to know what the state of play is, the best place to look is the American market.  Forbes recently reported on the US government’s Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013 – which should establish a program for the licensing of Internet poker by federally recognized Indian tribes as well as States.  The 100 page Bill has a long way to go before it becomes law, but the Bill was introduced to Congress after the States of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware passed laws legalizing online gambling with their borders.

In the meantime, the gambling industry is preparing itself for the legalization of online betting in the US.  Gambling companies have been acquiring or preparing deals with firms that develop simulated casino games for iPhones and other mobile devices, while slot machine manufacturer, International Gaming Technology acquired casino app maker, Double Down Interactive in January of this year for a whopping $250 million.  Last your Playtika, the maker of popular smartphone gambling game Slotmania, was bought by casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Over the past few years, simulated gambling games have increased in popularity and are pretty lucrative, even though they don’t involve real money.  Casino games that are playable on Facebook and iPhones enjoyed revenues of $1.1 billion last year according to SuperData Research.  Morgan Stanley analysts estimate that more than 170 million people played simulated casino games on social networking platforms, this is more than triple the number of real money online gamblers.