UNITED STATES—Talk to a group of friends about regulating online gambling in San Francisco and they’ll all probably have different opinions, from doom-mongering to thinking it would provide a big boost for the area.

San Francisco’s rules fall under the state of California, which manages the local laws when it comes to gambling, but SF is one of those unusual places where you can gamble in person but not always online.

Take Advantage of the Crypto Revolution

San Francisco loves crypto, and America’s techiest state has been early in adopting the currencies plus providing a home for cryptocurrency trading platforms Coinbase and Kraken. Did you know that the state of California sees more searches for crypto-related terms than anywhere else in the US?

When people read about fun and interesting crypto betting facts they’ll notice that America, and California in particular have played a big part in the crypto revolution, and therefore the adoption of crypto gambling just seems to make perfect sense.

Crypto is a growth area, and crypto casinos are helping to drive that impressive growth, with millions of players betting on esports, playing casino games, and even playing games like Crash which is a specific crypto gambling game that’s super popular now.

Did you know that there are now thought to be more crypto transactions in the gambling industry than in any other? Investopedia ranked San Francisco the number one city in the world for crypto adoption based on “the number of merchants accepting bitcoin in each city, the number of bitcoin automated teller machines (ATMs) available, and population size relative to bitcoin activity” so it is strange that crypto gambling hasn’t hit the next level in the state yet.

The state has a reputation for being good with tech, driven by Silicon Valley, which is seen by many as the global home of technology, as it is home to innovative companies (including plenty of crypto companies). It seems strange to think that in the tech-loving city, you can go to a casino in San Francisco, and walk up to a table in San Pablo Lytton Casino to place your bets, but you can’t easily gamble on your phone.

Impact on the Existing Casino Scene

Some people might say that if you add more ways to play online the casinos that exist around SF would die. There are lots of casinos in the city that are a draw for tourists and a way for people to enjoy a night out and play several table and slot games if they want to, but this is true of some other states and locations in the world where online gambling is regulated.

Most people agree that spinning the reels of a slot online and in person are different experiences, though they are linked, so there is no reason why they won’t enjoy both. Plus, someone who plays online might find that they have a new hobby or build their poker skills to the point where they want to take to a card room at one of San Francisco’s big casinos.

An Economic Boost For California?

Changing the laws on gambling in San Francisco alone isn’t possible, it would be a statewide bill that changes things. However, it could provide a way to boost tax revenue, and even create jobs in California depending on where the online casinos were based.

San Francisco is not short of big companies providing economic boosts, but many would argue there’s no harm in more casino brands adding to a thriving state economy and helping to give people more jobs, and the state itself more tax revenue to spend on schools and other public services.

What California’s Gambling Rules Say

Games like poker and table games aren’t exactly ruled out in the state, and there are some casinos you can visit, plus social gambling platforms online that provide a different gambling experience.

Social games are allowed, so friends can play as long as there is no “bank” or “house” involved in a game of poker for instance, so people can recreationally play in-person games that could be considered casino games.

The problem for those who want to play online casino games is the strict regulations on this, which state that most online casinos are not permitted in the state. Even the casinos that you can visit in person need to meet strict licensing criteria set out by the state or by local tribes that have some protected rights in the casino industry.

Conclusion – a Hotly Debated Topic

There has been so much debate on the gambling industry in San Francisco and is thought to be the most expensive ballot-initiative fight ever in America, costing over $400m. Indigenous tribes are trying to protect their casino gambling and new companies in the gaming and online casino industry are keen to move in. It is possible that new bills could soon change the landscape of Californian gambling.