One of the remaining issues regarding the Internet has involved the role of taxation. Is it okay to tax across state lines? Who collects the money? One industry where such issues have frequently come up—even before then days of the Internet—is the gambling industry.
In a move that aims to bridge the gap between the Internet and local casinos (and perhaps worry about any tax concerns later on) Oakland, Calif.-based CashBet has raised $1.7 million from angel investors for a platform that will allow developers to build real-money gambling into their social and mobile games.
Anyone who’s ever played Angry Birds or Candy Crush can attest to the addictive nature of mobile games, and such games often are free, making money later on when users make in-app purchases. If one could create a game as addictive as Candy Crush and integrate gambling into it, one could be looking to make a lot of money even as the risk involved for those who may already have issues with gambling could increase exponentially.
CashBet is willing to take such a chance, going after an online gambling industry that Morgan Stanley Research estimates will be worth $40 billion by 2014. “CashBet provides game developers a single SDK for access to the most robust online gambling platform,” said Jay Deibolt, CEO of Gamzio. “By integrating Gamzio games with CashBet, we’re able to tap into the billion-dollar market expected this year, seamlessly. Access to real-money online gambling is a game changer for social and mobile game developers who want to grow their revenues through this channel.”
It will be interesting to see how CashBet develops and if the power of the Internet can be fused with the power of people’s love for mobile games in order to create what could arguably be a huge money-maker for everyone involved. Who knows, though, if people will be as likely to play Candy Crush if they might themselves gambling away rent money in the process.
Edited by Alisen Downey