ICE Totally Gaming Show

Last week’s ICE Totally Gaming show at Earls Court London was a demonstration of how gaming is turning the corner, away from the economic malaise that’s affected many in the sector.

The show’s internal newspaper contained daily stories relating to combinations, acquisitions and other gaming deals being made.  Of course, this level of new activity in the sector comes as no surprise to those who read gaming’s daily trade publications.

Part of the resurgence is certainly attributable to the US Department of Justice's "Christmas Bonus," which undercut those who had argued that a US Federal law prohibited online poker and other casino type online betting activities. The DOJ opined that the federal Wire Act of 1961 only addressed sports-related gambling.  This removed a major cloud that had deterred investment in online poker.

In the aftermath of the DOJ determination, New Jersey, Nevada and other states are quickly advancing legislation to allow intrastate online play.  Consequently, there’s a significant resurgence of industry interest in investment in both online poker and social gaming platforms.  Beyond initiatives to freshen existing platforms (with UI enhancements and features) and launch new platforms, there’s also a heightened interest in new games generally and poker games specifically as a means of platform differentiation.

From the way 2012 is starting, we can all look forward to a year of opportunity and growth.

- E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross