The merging of the social gaming and online gambling worlds is a huge topic of discussion around our global industry at the moment. Gambling companies are searching for social gaming strategies (especially those with a sportsbook focus), Ralph Topping of William Hill just released a controversial statement suggesting that social gaming should be regulated in the UK, there are social gaming start-ups popping up everywhere and Zynga is taking over the world.
The time was ripe for the first Social Gambling Meetup to take place in London on Tuesday, 17 July, organized by iGaming Business. The event attracted roughly 100 social gaming and online gambling professionals, mostly male, young, energetic and all ready to rock. The venue was Verve Bar, a centrally located establishment that accommodated our group on the bottom level, with ample A/C thank god.
The Meetup served as an excellent opportunity to make some new connections and it was refreshing to see a lot of new faces for a change. To add even more value to the boozy event, iGaming Business arranged two quick (and free!) presentations for the crowd led by Andy Rogers of Enteraction, a supplier of social gaming to the iGaming, publishing and media industries and Raf Keustermans of Plumbee.com, a social gambling operator.
Rogers presented first and explained that there are three buckets of social gaming strategy out there, 1)creating a new market like Zynga has, 2)innovating in an existing market as Plumbee.com has, or 3)copying the market and defending your position as GameSys has.
Whichever category you fall under, Roger advised that business objectives should include customer acquisition for hard gambling (in regulated markets), generating a new revenue stream and business model, low cost of entry of your brand into a new market (especially those close to regulation) or a mixture of the above.
Keausterman’s presentation followed and his first point was that social gaming is an incredibly competitive, hot market at the moment. The good news is even though there are a lot of players in the market, the quality is not high as its a more opportunistic playing field. In addition, he pointed out that the gambling world has had a lack of innovation for a while now with poker as the last big thing (!!!) so the time is ripe to step in a shake things up a bit.
Another big point made by Keausterman is that you need AT LEAST $2 million with $500k dedicated to marketing spend if you want to go anywhere in the social gaming market. There are lots of seed and early stage capital in addition to strategic investors available at the moment, so the money is out there for those who can prove their worth.
Of course there is the question of regulation within the social gaming space and no one knows what will happen there, so it will be interesting to see how things unfold over the next few months for sure.
Overall the event was a success and we’re looking forward to the next Meetup to be scheduled in September and a full conference dedicated to the sector in November. More details will be revealed at the Social Gambling Meetup page shortly, so sign up now and prepare to join in on the fun.
Check out pictures from the event on the Social Gambling Meetup Page and Happy 1 Year Birthday to Plumbee.com!