Exclusive interviews with California Tribal Business Alliance vice chair Leslie Lohse and Peak Gaming Group president Rob Gallo
By Robin Rowe
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2013/11/2 – “Online gaming has the capacity to really change the way gaming is conducted in the U.S.,” says California Tribal Business Alliance vice chair Leslie Lohse. “We are protecting the thousands of tribal members who rely on their tribe’s brick-and-mortar casino for their livelihood. I believe California may open the door to iPoker, to gauge the market and begin to identify business partners with like-minded goals. Indian gaming in California is some of the most regulated and successful gaming in the country. It should be the model that sets the standard for developing this industry.”
Online gambling is becoming legal in states such as Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada. However, smart casino operators haven’t waited for legalization of money games before getting online. They’re testing the waters with free game apps on iPhones, Android or web-based HTML5.
“MGM International is doing a fantastic job with their myVegas social gaming platform,” says Peak Gaming Group president Rob Gallo. “The game allows players to earn rewards that can be redeemed at many of their land-based casinos. They can do this legally because the rewards they give out are not tied to winning of losing, but rather the purchasing of virtual chips. It is similar to an airline’s frequent flyer model.”
“While it is not really state of the art per se, the use of HTML5, and using mobile as another platform which players can use to access the same games that they would on their desktop of laptop is hugely important,” says Gallo. “As more and more people use their mobile devices for the majority of their computing needs, it’s only natural that the game developers build the games for every available platform. One company in the online real money gaming space that deals exclusively on mobile is Probability out of the UK. They have never developed a desktop version of their platform, and are delivering great quality mobile gaming content for some of the big name casino brands in the European market.”
One of the biggest makers of white label mobile gaming technology is IGT, a company that’s also the biggest maker of slot machines in the United States. IGT is licensing their online gaming technology to a casino in Delaware, the first state to offer legalized online gambling, and has already licensed its games in other countries. Online gaming company Bingogodz is using IGT’s bingo games for money games. Many online gaming companies are based in the UK, where online gambling has been legal and regulated for years. Bingogodz is licensed in the British Channel Islands by the The Alderney Gambling Control Commission.
In the United States, efforts are underway to bring online gaming to the country’s most populous state. “The few states that are ready to launch online gaming really need California to activate in order for it to be viable,” says Lohse. “Otherwise the funding capacity and the number of players needed to move a strong, consistent game, just isn’t there. So it’s really incumbent upon the gaming interests in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey to engage in discussions with California’s tribes in order to open up what has been a closed house on this coast.”
Real money online gaming went live at the end of October in Delaware. “It will be the first state to allow online casino games,” says Gallo. “Nevada was first with poker. As the president of Peak Gaming Group my focus is to act as a translator between land-based casinos and the online gaming platform providers of both real money and social casino games. It will interesting to see how the market will fare. Social casino games by their very nature attach a different type of clientele. The conversion of those player into real money gamblers is very low.”
Gallo and Lohse each spoke in September at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E), held at the Sands Convention Center, Las Vegas. “G2E is the Superbowl of the gaming industry,” says Gallo who chaired the Social Gaming Technology: Building a Winner panel there. Lohse was a speaker on the panel Pros and Cons: Indian Country Online.
Gallo will be speaking at the Raving’s Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference on January 27th to 29th at the Morongo Casino Resort Spa in Cabazon, California.
This story is also at CNN.