If you want to predict the future you need to study all the forward progression in multiple technologies and venues. This is something that I do. Now then, it should be quite evident to anyone who is watching that 2012 will be the year of mobile smart phone payments. In fact, it’s already starting, where people can order a Starbucks cup of coffee from their iPhone while they are in line and pay with their rewards prepaid Starbucks Gold Card, via their mobile phone.
And there are other big players getting involved such as Google, Citigroup, and most of the online social networks. Soon you will be able to use your smart phone and the SIMS card inside to verify who you are and make payments at the cash registers just by waving your phone over a scanner. You will also be able to buy items from vending machines, and in some places you can already do this with your cell phone. Another thing I see on its way has to do with the merging of mobile smart phone payments with online gambling.
Today, almost everywhere the United States online gambling is illegal, but that will soon be changing. In fact some of the major RTP Slot casinos in the United States, and in other places around the world are investing in online gaming sites, some of these sites have tens of thousands of users and players.
There was an interesting article the other day in the Wall Street Journal on March 31, 2011 titled “Web Poker Plays a New Hand – Casino Owners Team up with Online Gaming Sites to Legalize Internet Gambling,” by Alexandra Berzon.
In the article it made mention of Steve Wynn Resorts and Casinos, which has invested in some online gaming sites. With that sort of money and political clout behind online gaming, it is only a matter of time before it is legalized. Perhaps it will be legalized first for those players who reside in Nevada, but eventually it will be legalized everywhere and taxed.
Many states need additional tax revenue, so you can be sure they will be considering this. Even though the State of New Jersey had the online gambling bill which was introduced and finally vetoed by the governor, it’s only a matter of time until they give in as well.
Now then, in the future we will probably see kiosks where you can pass your phone over a scanner and then sit down to begin playing. I would suspect that these sorts of things will happen at international airports in the free trade area. And eventually they will be perhaps at bus stops, coffee shops, and other places where people sit down for a while and relax.
Of course, we better hope that people do not gamble online and drive as they do when they text message. Yes, there are lots of details to work out, but you can bet that this is on the horizon and will be an ever present part of our society within the next 4 to 5 years. Indeed I hope you’ll please consider all this and think on it.