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Social Networking Sites May Be Big Winners In Online Gambling Boom

For decades it has been the land-based casinos that have dominated the gaming industry in the US. Nevada and New Jersey held gambling monopolies for decades until the 2008 economic recession. In the years since, dozens of states have added casinos, hurting the business models in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

In the past few weeks, the US government's stance on Internet gambling has changed drastically, and that has led to widespread speculation as to the future of the online gambling industry in the country. Many analysts are now predicting that it is the social media sites that stand to gain the most by the changes in US policy.

"Facebook has millions of daily users, and now they will have the ability to possibly partner with gaming companies that are licensed for online gambling," said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. "Even if they don't partner directly with the companies, the advertising will be available, and that could be just as valuable to these companies looking to increase their business."

Facebook will not be the only social networking site looking to get in on the action. Google+ and Apple could both become big players as well. These platforms will be targeted not only by companies running online casinos, but also state lotteries. New York and Illinois filed questions for the Department of Justice regarding the Wire Act, and the opinion released last week opens the door for lotteries to openly sell tickets online.

The biggest draw for the social sites may be online poker. It has been estimated that online poker was a billion dollar industry in the US until the DoJ issued indictments against PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. The indictments caused foreign companies to pull out of the market, but the opinion opens the door for the sites to re-enter, and possibly use the social media to do so.

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