It is looking increasingly likely that Americans — at least in some states — will soon be able to wager real dollars via online poker games. Nevada gambling regulators last week approved online gambling within the state’s borders, a move that is seen as a possible harbinger of what’s ahead in other states.
Furthermore, the Justice Department last week released a letter which appeared to reverse its long-held position on Internet gambling, with gambling expert Dennis Ehling telling The Wall Street Journal that the change could represent a “boon for a lot of operators.”
One company that will be closely watching the activities is not located on the Las Vegas strip, but in a modern high-rise next to Seattle’s CenturyLink Field.
DoubleDown Interactive is one of the most successful makers of casino-style social media games, with its DoubleDown Casino title ranked as the fourth most-popular game on Facebook in 2011. The company is already cashing in on its wildly popular titles, which utilize a virtual currency.
But just imagine the possibilities if more states legalize online gambling? Could DoubleDown be in a position of holding the right cards?
We actually talked about that possibility with DoubleDown president Glenn Walcott on the GeekWire podcast in October, asking him about the possibility of the company moving into the Internet wagering arena.
Walcott downplayed the possibility:
“The general consensus is that poker someday will become legalized on a state-by-state basis, and certain states are evaluating it right now. And maybe at the federal level, depending on funding, perhaps in a year or so. We don’t really care if it becomes legal or not. Our DNA is a casual/social gaming company. We’re a social gaming company. We aren’t a gambling company. Our games aren’t built to be bulletproof like you’d need to be if you’re a real gambling company.”
But with money at stake (real money, rather than virtual) it will be interesting to watch how this one plays out.