Social Networks New Vehicle for Online Gambling

Published Saturday, April 07, 2012 -

Chris Satchell, CTO and EVP of R and D at International Game Technology, “Facebook is almost the same business [as casinos].” Adding “Facebook has real estate and customers, just like the casinos.” A bold and true statement that according to most observers can be taken further with the fact that Facebook just like casinos takes a thirty percent portion of game developers’ profits just for the right to use the social network.

IGT’s investment of $500 million for Double Down Interactive which has that huge Facebook connection of almost five and a half million visitors a month. Since 1981, IGT has been developing and manufacturing slot and video poker machines for casinos and now has turned its attention to online social interactive games. It has launched its first game recently called American Idol Slot, using Double Down’s casino on Facebook.

The Slot machine maker has made a huge and possibly very profitable leap into the interactive world much like a few other big names. Satchell explained the idea is to enable cross-platform gaming experiences, so that players can connect to games before, during and after visits to casinos. He also sees Facebook as the vehicle to introduce casino games to the youthful demographic. “If we could just get them to understand that it’s fun. Social gaming is a good way to do that, and it’s a good business in its own right,”

American Idol slot game lets people spin the wheels which feature the faces of Season 11 contestants and host Ryan Seacrest. The free-to-play game allows you to win additional chips. With recognizable brand names such as Wheel of Fortune, Big Buck Hunter, The Hangover and Sex and the City in their portfolio it won’t belong before some of those titles find their way onto Facebook. Once online gambling is legalized in the USA there could be a lot of money made by a company like IGT.

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