The Social Gambling Long Term Bet
By now you’ve probably heard of social networking and social gaming. Facebook, the reigning king of social networking, is going public soon. If you’ve been on Facebook, you’ve probably seen your friends play games like CityVille and CastleVille, two of the most popular social games made by social gaming publisher Zynga. Over 200 million people play Zynga’s (ZNGA, NASDAQ since December) Facebook games every month.
Zynga Poker is the world’s largest poker game with more than 7 million people playing every day and over 30 million each month. A Zynga spokesperson was recently quoted as saying, “We know from listening to our players that there’s an interest in the real money gambling market. We’re in active conversations with potential partners to better understand and explore this new opportunity.”
Social gambling could be the next big thing in online gambling. Players login and enter a themed casino lobby and can join tables or walk around and watch others play. A leaderboard shows players where the action is. Players socialize and build social networks while gambling. Good social gambling brands will be packed with real players (each with a customized avatar) with all of the excitement of a real life casino.
In the past few years, gaming and social networking have merged to create social gaming. Gambling is now poised to merge with social gaming. Who will end up with the royal flush of social gambling – a social gaming brand or an online gambling brand? Expect a lot of innovation and news this year. Social gambling is something to watch in 2012 and in the coming years.