The countdown to legal Online Scratch Cards  in the U.S. has started. There is no doubt that the question is no longer if but when scratchcards will be available to U.S. online players as part of their legal gambling portfolio.

A report in The Wall Street Journal points out the social gaming industry’s impact on the real money casinos.

With the dramatic changes in the U.S. gambling market there have been many interesting developments and partnerships in the social gaming front with the aim of cashing in on lucrative markets like the scratch cards industry.

Scratchcards are just one example of how certain lighter forms of online gambling can definitely appeal to a niche market of social gamblers who prefer the lighter scratchcard format.

Sport is a national pastime for millions and scratch card games like Crazy Ball and Road Racing manage to thrill us while providing us the chance to win huge jackpots on the sporting scratchies.

Unlike other forms of gambling, there is no questioning that many benefits of social scratchcards which bring us many of our favorite social past times to a winning scratchgame format.

The slot machine giant Bally Technologies only last week announced their acquisition of Chiligaming LTD’s business-to-business iGaming platform. Thus technology solution enables Bally Technologies the ability to offer an integrated traditional and online casino solution to global operators.

This deal follows yet another deal between IGT’s (International Game Technology) purchase of online casino Double Down. Another major deal was between Caesar’s Entertainment deal with Israeli based Playtika in 2011.

Playtika is a software provider for many social games on Facebook that feature a casino based theme. This strategic merge of social games on giant social networks is no coincidence. There have been past rumors that both Facebook and other social software giants like Zynga are planning to use their current platform of social casino based games to launch themselves to real money games when online gambling becomes legal in the U.S.

Scratchcards have the ability to attract many traditional casino players with scratchgames that have a unique casino based theme like Lucky 21 and Scratch N Roll.

As we have reported before Zynga already offers many free to play casino based games that include Zynga Poker and Zynga Bingo.

These seemingly innocent acquisitions have one sole purpose. As soon as the U.S. gambling market is legally up and running, these “social gaming” players will have a strong foot in the door already with their virtual casino based games.

The key to a successful transition from virtual to real money casino apps is the loyal fan base. The online scratch cards community has millions loyal global followers who could easily switch to real money scratchcards when they become legal in the U.S.

There is no doubt that the leap for these casino platform giants from virtual to real money casino apps is not too big. Giants like Facebook and Zynga intend capitalizing on their established a loyal fan base that consists of millions of virtual casino player.

The U.S. is potentially one of the most lucrative scratch card markets and when it opens up it is set to transform the online scratchcards into a powerful force in the gambling world.

They only need to convert a small percentage of the social casino players to real money players to get their hands on one of the most lucrative markets in the online gambling world.

The fact that millions of people already play virtual casino games on Facebook like Texas holdem Poker and Zynga Poker only attest to the popularity of other social online gambling formats like scratchcards. Many of us enjoy nothing better than playing the latest online scratchgames that continue to entertain and enrich us while providing social entertainment.