BUSINESS

Overseas online gambling market creates stiff competition for Silicon Valley tech companies

TAGs: Asia, Business, Online Gambling, silicon valley, UK, US

silicon-valley-goes-UKThe growing popularity of online gambling is manifesting itself all over the world, that is, except in the US where federal regulations  have put the shackles on the multi-billion dollar industry, effectively shutting out the iGaming industry from a goldmine of untapped revenue. But a lot of Silicon Valley tech companies are optimistic enough to believe that a silver lining does await on the other side of the rainbow, and they’re willing to take their business elsewhere as they await in their growing belief that a shift in state-by-state legislation is becoming more and more plausible in the coming years.

Chris Griffin, the chief executive of Betable, alluded to the potential of the US market should online gambling commence in the US. ‘‘Gambling in the US is controlled by a few land-based casinos and some powerful Indian casinos,’’ Griffin told the Boston Globe. ‘‘What potentially becomes an interesting counterweight is all of a sudden thousands of developers in Silicon Valley making money overseas and wanting to turn their efforts inward and make money in the US.’’

As it stands, numerous US states are already in the process of laying the groundwork towards legalizing online gambling. Nevada and Delaware are two states that are already in the race with New Jersey looking to follow as soon as that state’s legislature and its governor can get on the same page with their efforts to craft a bill that the two sides can agree on. Various states in the US, including California, Iowa, Mississippi, and Illinois have all crafted their own respective bills and while no green-lighting has taken place, the very concrete realization that online gambling could bring in added streams of tax revenue is an allure that’s too hard to pass up, or at least fall behind on.

In the meantime, these Silicon Valley companies are eyeing legal gambling markets like the UK where online gambling laws are more relaxed and online betting is generally legal and more importantly, insanely lucrative. It’s no coincidence that a company like Apple has already taken the measure to modify its software to accommodate mobile gambling. Facebook, for one, has already launched an online game for its British users late last year. Then there’s Zynga, which is not only in the middle of advertising its initial betting game offerings to the British market, but has also hinged its future in the online gambling industry.

These efforts are all well and good if they’re looking for a new way to create more revenue opportunities, but the question is, how successful can these Silicon Valley tech companies be in their attempts to infiltrate an ultra competitive and mature market that already has more than its fair share of online gambling offerings?

Ideally, they’d like to think that they can gain significant ground. Realistically, it’s going to be a lot harder than that.

It’s always the case that when a company tries to enter a market as competitive as online gambling, a lot of them get swallowed by the competition even before the first sunset comes down. It’s not just in the UK where the online gambling market is already competitive enough, just think of the race that’s already underway among iGaming companies looking to infiltrate the Asian market with the

Some deep-pocketed and determined companies may live to survive another day and gain traction in these regions, but for the most part, it’s going to be hard to topple the industry pioneers that have been around since Day One. Even Apple, despite being named by Brand Finance in a recent study as the most powerful brand in the world with a brand value of $87.3 billion, might have to deal with nemesis Samsung whose own brand value of $58.8 billion sits in…you guessed it…second place in the study.

In the end, it’s a matter of perspective: if their goals are to bide their time and develop their online gambling business while banking on clouded hope in anticipation of the US opening up its market, then their overseas online gambling businesses could potentially yield some success. But if these Silicon Valley companies are thinking that they can become as big – or even bigger – than the brands that have stood the test of time in the UK and in Asia, then they ‘re in for some bitter pills to swallow.

They can, to an extent, knock down lesser and less reputable online gambling brands, but they’re going to have an extremely difficult time toppling the industry pioneers that that have already established themselves in the industry from way back when.

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