2013 is already shaping up to be a big year on the mobile gambling front.


Several U.S. states are close to offering legal online poker and casino games to their residents while Zynga, Facebook and others are pushing quickly into social gaming for real money.

Real-money gambling apps have been around for several years now on smartphones and tablets but they’re still limited by anti-gambling laws in the U.S. and other countries.

If you live in the UK or other countries where online gambling is legal, you’ll have several different choices -- including mobile apps from PokerStars, bwin and PartyPoker -- but otherwise you’ll be forced to compete for play chips only.

Zynga Poker and Slotomania are some of the most popular play-money apps for iOS. Those two plus Slot City and Live Hold’em Poker Pro are among the most popular Android apps available at Google Play.

Partnership Efforts Will Pay off in 2013

Zynga and Facebook are both poised to step up their gambling efforts in 2013.

Zynga has signed a partnership deal with bwin.party that will see it roll out over 100 real-money casino and poker games to Zynga players in the UK - meaning Zynga Poker players will finally be able to put their poker skills to the test with real cash on the line.

Facebook has signed several partnerships of its own that will see it offer slots, casino games and poker for real money in some European markets.

Nevada is leading the charge for U.S. states looking to roll out real money poker and casino games to state residents. The first real-money poker hands in the State will likely be dealt in early 2013.

Many different companies have applied for licenses in the state and it’s likely just a matter of time after real-money play begins for apps to hit the market.