About Sociopranos

This site concerns itself with the phenomenon of social online gambling and the social effects of gambling, which may sound like one in the same but are very separate issues, although both very important. When one looks at the landscape of gambling at the present time, it is something that is ever-changing, and the new frontier that is being explored by forward-looking organizations is that which concerns gambling connected to social platforms. And when we talk about "social platforms" in this context, we are of course talking about Facebook, the dominant social networking site which has over half a billion users.

Through the implementation of Facebook apps, companies have leveraged the strength of the social network to launch and promote many casino-style games, thus creating a bonanza in terms of user participation and even sometimes profit that is based on micro-purchases. Yes, gathering names for a database is an extremely attractive thing, and indeed Zynga, which has over 37 million users for Texas Hold'em alone, has built some market value as a company on that kind of power, but the windfall as most companies see it will come with the growth of real money social gambling, which has already started in the United Kingdom, is expected to spread gradually, and which has a number of important companies in both the financial and gaming sector very excited. This, along with the fact that the industry could be worth $2.5 billion or more within three years, warrants further study.

In a way, this goes hand-in-hand with the social effects of gambling, because with all the possible money out there that is being discussed with the social online gambling craze, there will be much consideration given to legalization and licensing of gambling entities for purposes of taxation, and the subject of the social impact is invariably explored. So what is the government's stand on gambling at the moment? Does it differ on the federal and state levels? What are the implications of legalizing it? Will consumers ultimately have more choice? More protection? Who will get the licenses? Who will be able to set up on Facebook with real money gambling, and when? What will be the effect on problem gamblers? Has online gambling overcome its negative stigma, so that social online gambling does not have to carry that stain? These are all questions that are very worthwhile exploring.

Whether you are a teacher, a government operative, a member of the media or a consumer, we have presented this information in the "Sociopranos" so that you can find some educational value in it, with a greater understanding of just what gambling could mean for communities and economies.