On this page you will find information (scroll down) about:
- the US gaming market, particularly regulation/legality of online gaming
- the US language and the challenges of iGaming localisation.
Status and potential of the
US online gaming market
The United States has one of the biggest economies in the world, and has a massive influence in the global market. Significant U.S. economic indicators are expected to grow in 2015 at their fastest tempo in a decade. The United Sates is also home to the world’s largest B2C e-commerce market. Its total online shopping revenue reached $322 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow to $414 billion by 2018.
United Sates is also home to the world’s largest B2C e-commerce market.
We’ve all seen Scorsese’s Casino. In the movie, Sam “Ace” Rothstein (De Niro), a brilliant handicapper, is called by the Italian Mob to run the fictional Tangiers casino in Vegas… The over-the-top opulence of Las Vegas, featured in big-budget Hollywood films such as Casino or Ocean’s Eleven, may have caused the U.S. to be perceived as the gambling centre of the world. In reality, however, the country as a whole has quite restrictive gambling regulations. But the federal government of the U.S. does not regulate gambling operations on each state’s territory, meaning that states are free to liberalise or prohibit within their own borders. In the majority of states, some gambling forms are legal while other forms are utterly forbidden.
Lotteries are big businesses in most states, with only two states, Hawaii and Utah, outlawing all gambling of all kinds. A few states and sovereign tribal lands allow casino gambling. The Las Vegas Valley is known to have the largest density of casinos in the United States.
Things in U.S. get even more labyrinthine when it comes to gambling over the Internet. In 2006, the Federal government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act (UIGEA), making illegal for gambling sites to accept deposits from customers from the United States. The act attracted a lot of criticism from players and many well-known gambling operators. Following UIGEA, many iGaming companies, such as PartyGaming for example, ceased American operations almost instantly.
There may be a way out of this pickle, however. Six years later, a new act was passed allowing individual states to license different forms of online gambling within their borders. Since 2012, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have passed state level legislation to legalise online gambling, and several more states are presently keen to do the same. The California Legislature is considering two bills at this time, both of which would legalise online poker in the state. Illinois is another state that is willing to open its online gambling market. It is estimated that online legislation will be passed in 2016 and that Illinois market will open the following year. In Pennsylvania, the regulation of online poker is to be expected in 2017, with full casino games to be given the green light at a later point in time.
Recent studies show that the online gambling industry in the United States could reach $5.2 billion in 5 years, if there are at least 20 states to have legalised the sector by 2020.
Challenges of US
One of the most requested forms of localisation today is website localisation. To put it in simple words, this means changing your website content so that it works in a foreign geographical location. This might seem like an unnecessary step when it comes to communicating with the American public: Isn’t it enough to use whatever English comes at hand to convey your iGaming content?
While there are unquestionably many more varieties of English language, UK English and US English are the two varieties that are most often used in the gaming industry. But if you think the differences between them are negligible, you might want to think again! In fact, the differences between British and American English are far more widespread than you may often realise, affecting grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, punctuation, idioms, dates, measurements and currency.
...the differences between British and American English are far more widespread than you may often realise
There are lots of websites out there that have translated words and phrases from their local language to English in their effort to target the US market. The results were not only baffling for their American customers, but sometimes downright unfortunate. Why? Because they mixed British spelling, particular style of phrasing, vocabulary items etc. with that of US English.
When trying to communicate to an American audience, remember that aspects like spelling, punctuation or formatting of dates and numbers are utterly important.
Just keep in mind the use of Z’s for S’s (analyze, localize, organize, recognize…), the omission of U (behavior, humor, labor, rumor…), -er instead of -re (center, liter, scepter, theater…) and single L’s in place of double (canceled, dialing, labeled, signaling, traveling…). Or how in British English, for example, ‘you license a product,’ but ‘you get the licence.’ US English uses instead the -se form regardless of context. Needless to say that any website that makes use of the incorrect spelling will instantly look amateurish – not the impression an accomplished company wants to make.
In the United States, dates are also written differently. While UK uses the DD-MM-YYYY format, North America prefers MM-DD-YYYY. If, for example, 12-11-2014 means 12th November 2014 in British English, it would indicate 11th December 2014 in the United States. Is this distinction relevant to the iGaming operator? We’d say it is a definite ‘Yes’! An online lottery business or a sports betting website simply cannot afford ambiguities when it comes to informing players about the draw dates or big sport events.
At All-In Translations, we have deeply familiarised ourselves with gambling vocabulary differences between the American and the British English. Beyond their linguistic proficiency, our translators know when to use “game” instead of “match”, why “pitch” is not to be used as a synonym for “playing field”, why “soccer” and “football” refer to two different team sports on the other side of Atlantic or what is the US equivalent for a “punter”…
Here, you can find out how All-In can help you with all your US localisation projects. Also for any queries, do not hesitate to contact us.