Now, is it really all that surprising that Nevada is taking an early lead in these opening hands of the legalization of online gambling in the USA?
The ‘Las Vegas’ brand has grown to rival the great European casino meccas such as the Italian Alps and Monte Carlo. As gambling goes electronic and legal in the US, it is quite poetic that Vegas provides its route onto the Information Superhighway.
A British Invasion with American Cod
One of the forerunners in the regulated Nevada market is not an American gaming company, although American game software is being used. The newcomer is William Hill from Great Britain. In what may prove to be a brilliant move, some time ago Will Hill purchased US studio Leroy’s Horse and Sports Place, originator of the first betting app to score a spot in the iTunes store.
This is a great example of a foreign company approaching its new market with what appears to be sensitivity toward the native players, so to speak.
The fact that this first major move in Nevada is a sports-betting application rather than hardcore cards or slots or other ‘casino’ games, may be a telling detail. It could foreshadow a sort of middle-way approach to legalizing online gambling in the States.
Nearby California, for example, has approved a one-game-only pilot programme to test the waters with this new form of entertainment. Any mishap with such an initiative in such a populous state as California could have disastrously large ramifications, after all.
Americans Learn to Gamble Legally
Britain’s William Hill and other big names like Ladbrokes possess a long legacy in the bookmaking business. The UK has had a permissive yet regulated attitude toward gambling and betting in general. There will be a fruitful trend as British betting experts collaborate with American tech companies and game studios to bring US customers world-class online gambling (finally!).
William Hill’s advance in Nevada — and indeed it is a major coup to begin leading in such a massive marketplace as the one-and-only Vegas — does not mean the company will necessarily enter other states.
A State-by-State Game
Without a nation-wide green light, companies will launch their games and brands carefully. Clusters of states that are beginning to allow gambling and online-gambling will become hotbeds of competition as we will see companies seek to dominate in several markets at once.
Nevada, on the contrary, is fairly self-contained. Will Hill has plenty to do in launching its sports app and cultivating a good first impression just with the huge amount of traffic passing through the ‘city that never sleeps’.