The Future of Social Gambling

There is going to action and excitement surrounding the expansion of social gambling for as long as people are enthusiastic about pulling up their Facebook page. It is a tremendous application for those who want to play with real money, and for those land-based casinos who want to capitalize on the phenomenon, it is not a bad way to introduce them to the property. Yes it is true that the market is getting a little congested, but that doesn't mean that companies are shying away. The social media apparatus is a good way to drive players to the games, since people are, in all likelihood, already engaged within the platform.

While the future may not be limitless, and there is not as much ability to "spam" friends effectively to try a particular game as there used to be, there is still a very optimistic picture for social gambling. And very credible organizations are getting into it. Gamesys, which operates successful online casino sites, has already launched Bingo Friendzy to great success. Zynga is plunging headlong into its collection of social gambling offerings in 2013, and that is a company responsible for 12% of Facebook's total income this year.

Bwin Party, which is one of the largest companies currently involved with online gambling, has said that it will invest about $50 million in the next couple of years to do special gambling, starting with slots and poker games, and that its interest will be in "the sale of virtual credits to purchase entries as well as virtual gifts, decorations and consumables." International game technology (IGT), which is a leading manufacturer of slot machines for the land-based casino market, has purchased DoubleDown, one of the leaders in the social gaming space, for a whopping $500 million. And a company called Betable is gaining traction as a turnkey solution for operators who wish to convert their social free games into social real money games. It's all happening.

According to a study done by research firm SuperData, social gamblers on average spend almost twice as much as social game players (non-gambling related). That's enough reason to shift focus for companies like Zynga and others. Farmville is out; Texas Hold'em is in. SuperData's projection on real money social gambling revenue by the end of 2015 is about $2.5 billion. That would signal an increase of 50% over the expected intake this year, and that estimate might be very conservative

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