Social Gambling and Land-Based Casinos
Social gambling is a phenomenon of sorts, and one of the reasons for it is that it is so easy for people to get involved through their Facebook account. One of the best things of all is that the games can often be accessed free of charge, which means that a healthy database of names can be built, and this has a definite value for the gaming operator. All of the land-based companies are mindful that lists certainly have power, and if they can mine the data they can recruit players in an increasingly competitive industry where it makes sense to market in a cost-effective manner.
So a "social" site can be used for any number of purposes - to cultivate information about people in order to make special offers, to give bonuses to existing loyal customers, or perhaps just to introduce as many people as possible to the property itself. Of course, there is an overriding motivation for the interest a land-based casino may have in developing social games on its Facebook presence as well, and that is to be ready in the event that legislation paves the way for online gambling, and in turn, social gambling, to become legal in their jurisdiction. Don't think lawmakers in several states are not looking at the projections, and obviously, with Facebook and Zynga entering the arena of real money gambling, the land-based casinos in other parts of the world are getting themselves ready to explore the online possibilities.
Of course, no one wants to jump the gun in terms of what might happen in the United States, but there are clearly states who are interested in making online gambling available to its residents, and from that standpoint, social gambling would fit right in, since the interests of Facebook and the states would be somewhat mutually inclusive. You see, Facebook is only going to be involved with licensed properties when it permits a real money gambling page to open, and this will keep those who are located offshore and thus seen as 'outlaws" from being involved on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis. When a state like New Jersey, for example, finally allows online gambling - a strong possibility since it is already planning to introduce sportsbooks into casinos and racetracks - it is going to restrict the issuance of a license to those who already hold a gaming license (i.e., land-based casinos and racinos). In a way, the rich get richer, but still, it will expand the possibilities for Facebook members to gamble online using their social media presence.