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US – GIGSE to host Social Casino Summit

By - 27 February 2013

The future of the pure virtual currency, freemium model in social casino and the progressing convergence between social gaming and the emerging US iGaming will be discussed in-depth at the newly launched Social Casino Summit, organised alongside the 13th Global iGaming Summit & Expo (GiGse).

To be held April 23 to 25 at The Westin San Francisco Market Street, the event focuses exclusively on how US bricks-and-mortar businesses can transition easily, effectively and successfully to iGaming.

This year it will run alongside the Social Casino Summit. Social casino, which is reported to monetise five-times better than other social games, is the most debated trend not just in the social gaming circles, but also in the gambling sector trying to figure out its value as a marketing tool or as a business on its own.

The social casino vertical is getting crowded with new games being launched every day and game development powerhouses rushing to tap into this winning category, which has even more sophisticated game design. At the same time, the many acquisitions made by the likes of IGT, Caesars, Aristocrat, Gamesys and 888, launches on Facebook, partnerships between social game developers and iGaming operators (Plumbee and Sportingbet) and the 40-plus cooperation deals that IGT-powered DoubleDown casino has signed, keep fuelling the debate on the convergence between the two sectors.

Topics such as game innovation, open graph, partnerships with brands, cross-product and cross-channel promotion, gaming on mobile, tablets and new platforms, social to real-money player conversion and player monetisation will be dissected by the early adopters, established leaders and new comers to this space. Speakers from RockYou, Ruby Seven Studios, Plumbee, PKR, RocketPlay, DragonPlay, Akamon Entertainment, GSN Digital, Hasbro, Mytopia, SGN, Slingo, Digital Chocolate, Playstudios and many others are amongst the confirmed speakers.

Social game developers continue to explore partnership opportunities with the existing gambling sector, both in the United States and worldwide. The vast online customer bases that they can boast, in contrast to the lacking online presence of most US land-based businesses, position them well in the rush to regulated online gaming. These can also be used as leverage in their partnership discussions with the US land-based industry which is now devising ways to start learning the online business, build customer base and create an online brand, so it’s ready to ‘flip the switch’ once regulated iGaming becomes fully regulated.

To give some scope to the size of the event, 680 attendees visited GiGse on 23 to 26 April last year, marking a 76 per cent increase on the 2011 numbers.

At the main GIGSE event delegates will hear the results and experiences from Nevada and Delaware, discuss with regulators how to address the complexities of state-by-state regulation and plans for multi-state compacts and pooled liquidity, understand the revenue model and ROI in play-for-fun and social gaming as pre-regulatory strategy to build online customer database and brand and build loyalty across land-based, online, mobile and social channels with a convergent product and marketing approach.

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