08 Sep 2010

Patriot Games: Why a Californian poker licence might cost $1 billion

casual gaming, Regulation, social gaming, software, web 2.0 No Comments

This is really interesting and quite rare but I think we will see more of it. We have a couple of well regarded young(ish) web entrepreneurs in an open discussion about online gambling and how things might develop in the US. The video below is part of a podcast by Jason Calacanis and features an interview with a former winner of the US Apprentice TV series, Kelly Perdew.

Perdew’s company operate in fantasy sports and online gambling is clearly on their radar. They mention Betfair and Full Tilt but the billions of dollars of potential revenues are clearly visible to both. Jump in at 22 mins if you are in a hurry. Perdew reckons a Californian licence might cost a billion dollars (over how many years? Average lottery contract about 7-10 years?). I think in the final regulation endgame in the US the locals are not going to let the industry go to a bunch of Europeans without a fight. What might also give us pause for thought is the likely scenario that the established Silicon Valley Goliath’s and a horde of hungry smaller start-ups will heavily target the sector as there are real revenues to be had, not just eyeballs.

It reminds of a few years ago when the UK / European iGaming sector was going to “do Asia”. “Send a chap to Manila and we’ll clean up” we thought. Turned out some of the Asian operators fancied doing Europe. Might the Yanks do the same to established European companies, using their presence and revenues from the biggest market of all and their leadership in new technology to slowly takeover a regulated sector beyond  their shores?

Thankfully US regulators still think sportsbetting is evil for some reason so those who work in that sector won’t lose sleep for a few more years. Have a look at video below and I’d be interested to read comments / thoughts…

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