Various states and countries are making great strides in legalizing online gambling around the world. Governments are quickly realizing how lucrative this industry is, as winnings and gaming companies can be taxed. Players from around the world can unwind and participate in slots, bingo, roulette, sports bets, and more wagers with their smartphones, tablets and computers. The online gaming market in China hit over $10 billion in 2012, with exponentially higher profits projected for 2013. Take a look at these six popular markets and learn why online gambling is booming.

1. Mobile apps

Games crafted exclusively for iOS and Android platforms are taking the world by storm. Apps typically have user interfaces that are customized to make mobile gambling easier to navigate and play. Many business will invest in skilled programmers to develop custom apps, giving them complete creative control over a product.

2. In-game purchases

Leveling up, character add-ons, boosts, and upgrades are all frequent products that gamers can purchase while playing an online game. This business model is used heavily by companies like Zynga and Z2Live, allowing players to customize their experience. Many “freemium” games are free to play or try, with optional in-app purchases that enhance the experience.

3. Virtual Currency

Bitcoin and other digital money systems allow gamers to place bets and wagers in scenarios where real-world money is not an option. For citizens in countries that do not allow real-world money gambling, virtual currencies allow gamers the fun of betting while abiding the law.

4. Social networking

Gaming companies realized the true potential of Facebook, as several mobile app companies rode the wave of revenue generated by social media sharing. Friends invite friends to participate in games, player numbers rise, and app purchases go up. Competition between users can drive more purchases and longer gaming times.

5. Desktop games

Not all successful games are for mobile devices. Companies like Steam and EA market directly to players who prefer using a full computer to enjoy games. Web browser games give people a larger screen and more interactive options.

6. Online betting

This gambling market doesn’t rely on fancy graphics, complex user interfaces, or in-app purchases. Simple sports wagers can be done on a variety of betting websites, where players can check scores from all over the world.

With the plethora of online gambling industries out there, companies can expect to see further growth as developers hone their skills and create even more enjoyable game titles.