MGM international is taking aim at social gaming, what the company’s CEO sees as the next big thing in the casino world, for June with its myVegas platform. The brand will offer free-to-play gaming options through social media outlets, like facebook, in an attempt to utilize the virtually untapped resource of social media users online. Many such free-play casinos are available through facebook, appealing to the company’s estimated 800 million users, roughly 20 times that of Las Vegas’ annual visiting population.
Use Virtual money to win virtual prizes if the mantra for social gaming brands Zynga Poker, Playtika, Double Down, myVegas, and RocketFrog.
Caesar’s purchased a majority share of Playtika in 2011 and purchased the remaining shares earlier this year for an undisclosed price. Seeing the potential within the social media industry, gambling and resort companies are looking to the internet for fresh, new users.
The largest difference to speak of with these types of games is the fact that actual money is never changing hands, what would be an otherwise illegal practice in much of the world, online or otherwise. There are however options for players to purchase extra gaming tokens and/or coins for real-money, but this real money is never paid out or able to be withdrawn, meaning players can buy in for more rewards, but never cash out winnings.
More than anything else, casino and gaming companies see social gaming as a huge player acquisition tool into the real-money gambling industry.