Online Gambling and Social Media

Some gaming experts believe that online gambling has a bright future in the United States. In the social gaming sector growth has been astounding and has exceeded all estimates. The CEO of Kontagent, a mobile analytics company, said that out of 780 million active social game players about 90 million are playing casino games. It should come as no surprise that gaming operators want a slice of the $30.3 billion internet gaming industry.

Out of the top ten games three are gambling games. The top five games include Texas Holdem Poker, Slotomania, DoubleDown Casino, Bingo Blitz and Best Casino. Together the games have about 11 million daily users. In 2011 the number of casino game players increased 60% while other games only grew 13%. Recent statistics say that 53% of Facebook users participate in social games. In the US playing for real money is still illegal but that may change in the near future. Facebook is already offering real money games in the UK.

Social gamers are often reluctant to pay for gaming but they will pay for virtual prizes, extra lives and new features. 20% of all gamers on Facebook pay for extra credits on Facebook. The extras were introduced in 2011. Monetizing social games has been a challenge for operators and in the US online gambling is still illegal at the federal level. So far three states have legalized online gambling. Nevada restricts online gambling to poker while New Jersey and Delaware plan to offer a wide selection of games. While the laws governing online gambling in the US are changing most believe it will be some time before social networking sites like Facebook can offer real money games in the US.

Current estimates say that about 81 million people play games on social networking sites at least once a day. Facebook is the dominate force in social gaming and other sites will have a difficult time luring players away from Facebook. Users prefer Facebook because of the wide variety of games offered by the site. In 2012 the popular DoubleDown casino on Facebook was purchased by IGT(International Game Technology) for an astounding $500 million. The figure clearly illustrates just how much social games are worth.